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HomeNewsLocal newsJohn Yob Elected Chairman of V.I. GOP in 12-1 Vote, Party Announces

John Yob Elected Chairman of V.I. GOP in 12-1 Vote, Party Announces

John Yob is the new chairman of the Republican Party in the Virgin Islands following an election at a special meeting of the party’s State Committee that was held Friday at The Westin, Frenchman’s Reef on St. Thomas.

John Yob (Submitted photo)
John Yob (Submitted photo)

Yob replaces Gordon Ackley, who announced his resignation in April, citing the need to spend time away from the territory to help care for his elderly father.

Yob, who was nominated by Ackley, defeated Lilliana Belardo de O’Neal, who was nominated by John Clendenin, by a vote of 12 to 1, according to the final tally.

Yob, who owns the Maho Bay Crossroads beach concession on St. John, arrived from Michigan in 2016 and has been involved in the territory’s Republican Party politics ever since, including as a prominent member of the faction that tried to unseat former party chairman John Canegata that year.

He is well-known in Republican circles and has worked on multiple presidential campaigns including for Rand Paul, John McCain and Rick Santorum. He also is the author of “Chaos: The Outsider’s Guide to a Contested Republican Convention,” published in 2016.

In a statement following his election, Yob said he “didn’t anticipate running for chairman this cycle because I felt I was better suited for the position of national committeeman, both in terms of my life and my best role for the party.”

However, when Ackley announced he was stepping down, “an overwhelming number of Republicans, both Republican voters and State Committee members, asked me to step forward and fill the vacancy. I’m deeply honored by their confidence,” said Yob.

“As chairman, I will be our strongest advocate at the upcoming Republican National Convention in Milwaukee,” slated for July 15 to 18, he said. “I’m also 100 percent committed to electing Republicans here in the Virgin Islands,” Yob added.

In his emailed statement, Yob said there are several aspirants in both districts for senator, the Board of Elections, delegate to Congress and constitutional convention delegate, and urged others to declare if they have an interest in running. “There are still viable opportunities for Republicans to run and win this cycle,” he said.

Yob also announced two upcoming events, on May 14 from 6 to 8 p.m. in Great Cruz Bay on St. John, and on May 22 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Fred Hotel in Frederiksted on St. Croix.

“The events, which are in honor of the late Republican Senator Holland Redfield, will be a great opportunity to meet fellow Republicans and meet some of the Republican candidates,” said Yob.

For more information, visit the Republican Party in the Virgin Islands website.

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