RICHMOND, VA — Virginia Republicans' only candidate for Governor, State Senator Amanda Chase, spent the past week doubling down on racist comments she made about Confederate statues, hosting fundraisers with racist far-right political figures, and launching racist comments at Democratic State Senator Jennifer McClellan who recently declared her candidacy for governor. It was a new low for the Virginia GOP, who made headlines last week for ousting one of their own Congressmen because he officiated a same-sex wedding.
Chase recently criticized Governor Northam's initiative to remove the statue of Confederate leader Robert E. Lee from downtown Richmond, calling it "an overt effort here to erase white history." Her comments were rightly denounced by both Democrats and Republicans, but she doubled down a few days later, telling a local newspaper that she was "drawing attention to a very serious issue that’s in this country right now" and insisted that she "didn't misspeak."
Chase then hosted two virtual events with guitarist turned right-wing conspiracy theorist Ted Nugent and former GOP State Senator Dick Black. Chase appeared on a video call with Nugent, who has written that Black Americans have a "mindless tendency to violence," made comments about taking a machine gun to South Central Los Angeles to hunt people, and described Trayvon Martin as a “dope smoking, racist gangsta wannabe” and said his parents should be sued and held “liable for the emotional pain and suffering [George] Zimmerman has been put through."
Black has described himself as "Virginia's chief homophobe" and has a long record of anti-LGBTQ, anti-immigrant, and racist positions. He once introduced a bill to put the Confederate flag on Virginia's license plates. Chase advertised both events with Nugent and Black on her Facebook page and scheduled another event with Nugent for August.
To top off the week Chase launched racist comments at Virginia State Senator Jennifer McClellan, who recently announced a run for Governor. Chase tweeted that McClellan's membership in the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus meant she "is NOT for ALL Virginians," a racist insinuation that drew immediate backlash. Chase deleted the tweet soon after.
"Amanda Chase is a racist who regularly puts Virginians of color at risk with her comments and actions. The people she associates with and the oppressive language she uses are exactly what hundreds of thousands of Americans are actively protesting and fighting against right now. It speaks volumes that her fellow Republicans let her get away with this behavior," said DPVA Communications Director Grant Fox.