Ranking Virginia’s 7 GOP gubernatorial hopefuls from most to least Trumpy as they battle to replace term-limited Democrat Ralph Northam


Summary List PlacementThe Virginia governor’s race boasts a dozen challengers vying to replace term-limited Democrat Ralph Northam.

Five Democrats, including former Gov. Terry McAuliffe and current Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, will seek to top the field in a statewide primary on June 8. 

Republicans must first do some paring down of their own, choosing delegates who will slot their preferred candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general via ranked-choice voting. This remote convention, which one Trump admirer insists is designed to shut her out, is scheduled for May 8.   

Republicans haven’t occupied the governor’s mansion in more than a decade. Former President Donald Trump lost the Old Dominion by five points in the 2016 election. That gap doubled in his 2020 loss to President Joe Biden.

State Sen. Amanda Chase

Background: This two-term Virginia senator, who’s been dubbed “Trump in heels,” is the current front-runner on the GOP side. The conservative lawmaker is currently at war with colleagues who censured her for participating in the Trump-led, election results-denying rally on January 6 in Washington, DC that preceded the deadly attack on the Capitol. 

She’s also accused GOP leaders of undercutting her campaign via a “rigged” convention process. Chase maintains that detractors “terrified of the amount of support that I have across the state” are trying to dilute her chances of winning by adopting the confusing, labor-intensive delegate-based effort rather than allowing a traditional primary.  

“The establishment Republican elite … wants a lukewarm candidate that’s sold out to Richmond. And I’m not that person. I’m like Trump,” Chase told Insider in an interview, billing herself as an outsider determined to “hold the pay-to-play system accountable.”

Agenda: Her top three priorities include rescinding all the COVID-19 restrictions in the state — “Just like Florida. We’re gonna completely reopen Virginia,” she said — undoing, via executive order, the gun-related universal background checks and red flag law that took effect in 2020, and barring social media companies from “restricting people’s First Amendment rights and cancelling them if it doesn’t meet their agenda.” 

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A companion piece to the tech fight will be boosting internet upload and download speeds to underserved communities via “safe technology” like broadband. “I’m not for 5G,” she stressed. 

Pocketbook: FEC records show Chase contributed approximately $2,400 to Dave Brat, the two-term Tea Party favorite who knocked off then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the 2014 GOP primary, and the Republican Party of Virginia since 2016.

Fans: Former Trump national security advisor Michael Flynn has endorsed Chase — which could prove useful down the road.  

“I think having this endorsement from Gen. Michael Flynn is a good first step,” she said of possibly getting the nod from Mar-a-Lago. Trump pardoned Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, after losing the 2020 election. 

Chase said she hasn’t asked Trump, or any politicos, to rally to her side.  

“If people want to endorse me, that’s great,” she said. “Right now my focus is getting delegates to this convention.”

Col. Sergio de la Peña

Background: This Mexican native …read more

Source:: Business Insider – Politics

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