WASHINGTON, D.C. – In just a couple of days, Virgin Islanders will get a chance to vote for Donald Trump or Nikki Haley for the Republican presidential nomination. The Islands are the third in the nation to hold their Republican primary or caucus, which is also giving the territory a lot of national attention.
“It’s a huge opportunity for Virgin Islanders,” said Dennis Lennox, the executive director for the Republican party in the Virgin Islands. “For the first time ever to be relevant in a presidential contest the Islands have never seen this kind of attention on the Democratic side of the aisle or the Republican side of the aisle.”
Lennox said the timing for this year’s Republican caucus puts the territory in the national spotlight.
“Going third in the country has ensured the voices of the Virgin Islands are heard in the process of nominating the next presidential Republican candidate,” said Lennox.
And voters can visit some local favorites to cast their vote.
“When you live on the islands people are deciding do you go boat that day or are they deciding to go vote that day,” said Lennox. “When its 84 degrees and sunshine it’s hard to get somebody off the beach and off the boat to go stand in line and vote so we tried to make it as easy as possible. Instead of voting at a school or a church or a firehall our caucus locations are La Reine Chicken Shack which is this institution on St. Croix. On St. John it’s the Rum Bar at Cruz Bay. And then here on St. Thomas it’s Bluebeard’s Castle. Those are some great iconic locations in the island that are actually in the Islands when you’re at those locations.”
Lennox isn’t estimating what Thursday’s turnout will look like but adds both candidates have made a big effort trying to win over voters.
“Like the other four US territories, we don’t get to vote in the general elections, so this is their one and only opportunity to make their voice heard in the 2024 presidential campaign,” said Lennox.