Richmond, VA — This week, Virginia Republicans continued their chaotic primary contest, defined by reckless extremism, brutally divisive intraparty attacks, and an embarrassing fear of difficult questions. With one month until Republican Party insiders pick their nominees, there are still no plans for a public GOP debate, and it’s clear why: all of the candidates are taking far-right positions completely out of touch with Virginia.
Let’s take a look how the Republicans spent their week:
Virginia Republicans Condemned for Attacks on Voting Rights
This week, The Washington Post Editorial Board delivered a scathing condemnation of Virginia Republicans’ commitment to Trumpism, the unhinged belief that the 2020 election was stolen, and the dangerous Republican assault on democracy. The board wrote that:
Rather than compete for a bigger pool of voters, Republicans in Virginia, as elsewhere, are intent on downsizing the pool in the hope of excluding minorities and other Democratic-leaning constituencies. They are hellbent on sustaining that assault on democracy in the hope of saving their own skin, because they cannot reimagine for themselves a future platform that would attract a more diverse electorate.
That’s a losing game, but it’s the only game the GOP seems willing to play.
Kirk Cox Doubles and Triples Down on Restricting Voting
As he gets brutally attacked from his right, Kirk Cox has been striving to prove his extreme hardline views. Last week, Cox proudly stated that he wanted Virginia to “go further” than Georgia’s hardline voter suppression law. He was condemned by the Virginia NAACP, but that didn’t stop him from doubling down on the extreme position.
This week, Cox went a step further and stated that as governor, he would work to crack down on voting in “tough” parts of Virginia:
Kirk Cox: “I will make sure — and I will fund this as governor — we have got to have an election integrity operation second to none inside these polling places...And they can’t be in the nice precincts. It’s got to be in those tough precincts where we will make sure we have people who are trained, they know their code sections, they know exactly what to do.”
Kirk Cox has yet to explain what he meant by this egregious comment, but the bullhorn was loud and clear — and yet another demonstration that Cox is too extreme for Virginia.
Pete Snyder Ruthlessly Rigging the GOP Primary
This week, The Washington Post reported that Pete Snyder and his MAGA campaign are working aggressively behind the scenes to rig the Republican primary for himself. Despite spending months lying to voters and downplaying his own involvement in the process, it turns out that Snyder has been working hard to ensure that Virginia Republicans chose a convention over a primary this year.
Now, this reporting details how Snyder and his team of political insiders have been working around the clock to manipulate the convention process to his advantage. From paying off State Central Committee members to blocking opposing candidates’ delegates from participating in the process, Snyder and his allies have gone to extreme lengths to rig this nomination — and his fellow Republicans are not happy.
Amanda Chase Fights Back
As news of Pete Snyder’s convention rigging became public, GOP frontrunner Amanda Chase made her position clear: if Pete Snyder is the Republican nominee, she will run for governor as an independent candidate:
Amanda Chase: What I'm telling you is that if Pete Snyder is chosen as the nominee, I will probably run as an independent, because his campaign — and other campaigns feel this as well, they're just not willing to be as vocal as I am — it is Pete Snyder's campaign that is running a rigged election.
Amanda Chase continued to make her view clear this week, firing off a new round of corruption allegations at Snyder and repeating her commitment to running as an independent. Glenn Youngkin agreed, saying that he too is “frustrated” and that he appreciates Senator Chase’s comments.
Flailing Glenn Youngkin Voices Extreme Frustrations
Glenn Youngkin’s flailing campaign has gotten particularly shameful in recent weeks. As he scrambles to buy support from Republicans who don’t know or trust him, Youngkin is trying desperately to compare himself to Donald Trump. It’s sad. Youngkin has also taken to fighting Pete Snyder, who he accuses of pushing false narratives which he says “frustrates” him.
While he fails to answer difficult questions and refuses to call for a single debate to confront Snyder directly, Youngkin is demonstrating one thing: he and his weak campaign are terrified.
How Bad Can This Get?
With less than a month to go until the Republican nominating convention, this primary is bound to get even uglier and more chaotic — so much so that former Rep. Denver Riggleman is still actively condemning the disastrous GOP field and moving towards a potential third party run. Meanwhile, Virginia Republicans are still refusing to hold even a single debate, demonstrating their embarrassing fear of displaying their extreme, unpopular views for all Virginians to see.
In the Republican Party of Virginia, things can always get worse. Tune in next week.