Chase accuses her opponent of rigging the GOP convention and Herring calls for an independent investigation into Virginia Beach police shooting

The latest in Virginia politics

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Amanda Chase discusses the upcoming Republican nomination process, calls it rigged.

In an interview with Jeff Katz of WRVA, Republican gubernatorial candidate Amanda Chase discussed the upcoming GOP nomination convention to choose the Republican nominee for governor. Read highlights below:

Chase: “What I will tell you is that after all the conventions that I participated in for over a decade is that; I can tell you, that these conventions are rigged. It's voter suppression. It is allowing the party to choose the nominees statewide that we the people know you want to go back to. [...]”

Question: Do you think this convention coming up in May is rigged?

Chase: I do. And let me tell you why. Chris Marston who is not only Pete Snyder who is one of the candidates for governor’s treasurer, he is the RPV general counsel. He's the referee for the state central committee. He is not neutral. Second thing. The unit [...] is a paid staff of Pete Snyder’s campaign. In other words my delegates, people who are supporting me are turning in their delegate forms to a paid member of Pete Snyder's campaign. He was the acting unit chair. [...]

Chase: They [RPV] are fumbling the ball. Whether it's an intentional effort to try to sabotage my campaign for governor or not is irrelevant. It's happening and they are constantly trying to cripple my campaign -- and if they continue to do that I will run as an independent. [...]

Host: My understanding also is that you have already secured the signatures necessary to run as an independent in November, correct?

Chase: That's correct. That is correct. And so here's the deal. If it's a fair transparent election -- I have always accepted whatever nominee that comes forth; it's what we do. That's what Republicans do. But if the cheating continues and they continue to disenfranchise my campaign, you will either see another lawsuit against the Republican Party of VA and we will take it up in court. [...]

Chase: Well 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. And they have bought out a lot of the unit chairs across the state of VA. [...] Pete Snyder was the only campaign for governor that supported a convention. Every other campaign for governor supported a primary but campaign. And I will support any other candidate that wins if I lose.

Host: OK so so just so we're clear; So if Pete Snyder gets the nomination Amanda Chase definitely runs as an independent in November. If Glenn Youngkin or Kirk Cox gets the nomination you'll be out campaigning on their behalf.

Chase: Absolutely.

Listen to interview


Virginia’s Attorney General Mark Herring is calling for an independent investigation into the shooting of Donovon Lynch

Virginia’s Attorney General Mark Herring is calling for an independent investigation into the death of Donovon Lynch, the man killed by Virginia Beach police officers Friday night as they responded to several shooting incidents at the oceanfront.

“An independent investigation is crucial for the public to have the most confidence in the objectivity and independence of the process and will help both the community and the Lynch family get the answers they need and deserve,” Herring said Tuesday in a press release. “I called for an independent investigation into the death of Donovon Lynch and I believe this is a step in the right direction.”

The statement from Herring comes after questions remain unanswered as to what happened the night Lynch was killed. According to police officials, the latest evidence shows that Lynch was not armed when he was shot by a Virginia Beach police officer. Footage from the officer’s body is not available, however, because it was not activated at the time of the shooting. “The officer was wearing a bodycam, but for unknown reasons at this point in time, it was not activated,” Virginia Beach Police Chief Paul Neudigate said Saturday night during a press conference.

Herring was facing political pressure over the weekend from his Democratic primary opponent, Del. Jay Jones, who called for Herring to investigate the shooting. “The Virginia Beach community deserves answers to the horrendous shootings that occurred this weekend,” Del. Jones said Sunday night in a statement.

The Virginia NAACP also expressed distress with the situation Sunday and called for a transparent process moving forward. “Disciplinary actions surrounding an officer misconduct should not be withheld from the public under the pretext, ‘It’s a personnel issue.’ This has been the case in the past. Transparency of police discipline is required now.” 

The Virginia Beach Police Department has not identified the officer that shot Lynch.

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Governor Northam proposes legalizing marijuana this year, instead of 2024

Governor Ralph Northam today proposed moving up the legalization of simple possession of marijuana to July 1, 2021, nearly three years sooner than previously planned.

The Governor also announced he is proposing changes that advance public health protections, set clear expectations for labor protections in the cannabis industry, and begin to seal criminal records immediately. The changes come in the form of amendments to Senate Bill 1406, sponsored by Senators Adam Ebbin and Louise Lucas, and House Bill 2312, sponsored by Majority Leader Charniele Herring, which legalize the adult-use of marijuana in the Commonwealth.

Governor Northam proposed the following legislative changes: 

  • Public health: Governor Northam is proposing two budget amendments. The first change immediately funds a public awareness campaign on the health and safety risks of marijuana. The other measure funds training to help law enforcement officers recognize and prevent drugged driving. These amendments also include explicit language directing ongoing support for public health education.

  • Worker protections: Governor Northam’s amendments authorize the new Cannabis Control Authority to revoke a company’s business license if they interfere with union organizing efforts, fail to pay prevailing wage as defined by the United States Department of Labor, or classify more than 10 percent of employees as independent contractors.

  • Ending disproportionate enforcement: The Governor’s amendments allow adults to legally possess up to one ounce of cannabis, without intent to distribute, beginning July 1, 2021. These amendments would maintain current public safety measures that prohibit smoking while driving, smoking while driving a school bus, and possession on school grounds, for example. Governor Northam noted that these are not “new crimes,” but rather the continuation of common-sense policies to protect children, drivers, pedestrians, and others.

  • Speeding up sealing of records and expungements: Governor Northam’s amendments allow for expungement and sealing of criminal records on marijuana to begin as soon as state agencies are able to do so and simplify the criteria for when records can be sealed. The General Assembly passed broader legislation to implement comprehensive expungement reform beginning in 2025. This generational change requires extensive updates to state agency computer systems and processes, which were made possible by funding in the Governor’s introduced budget. In the coming months, Governor Northam will continue to work hand in hand with legislators to make Virginia’s criminal justice system more equitable, including through efforts to resentence individuals previously convicted for marijuana offenses.

    Home cultivation: The Governor’s changes will allow households to grow up to four plants beginning on July 1, 2021. The amendments would require the plants to be labeled with identification information, out of sight from public view, and out of range of individuals under the age of 21.

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Congressman Bob Good endorses Winsome Sears for lieutenant governor

  • “Winsome Sears is the consistent conservative with a winning record in the race for Lieutenant Governor,” Congressman Good said. “I know she will hold true to her values and give Virginia Republicans the strongest chance to win in November. She has my enthusiastic endorsement.”


Jennifer Carroll Foy Earns Endorsement from Run Sister Run PAC

Jennifer Carroll Foy received the endorsement of Run Sister Run PAC, a national organization dedicated to supporting progressive women running for office.

“Jennifer Carroll Foy has broken barriers throughout her life. She is the visionary and inspirational leader Virginians need,” said the Run Sister Run Board in a joint statement. “She recognizes that politicians of the past aren’t providing working families the long term solutions they need to thrive. She has a proven track record, and is deeply committed to improving the lives of all Virginians, from building a post-COVID economy that works for all, to bringing down the cost of healthcare. We are proud to support Jennifer and her candidacy for governor.”  


‘No One Is the Gatekeeper Anymore’: Virginia Voters Face Field of 32 Candidates - VPM News

by Ben Paviour

Virginia voters are spoiled with choice this spring. A total of 32 statewide candidates have cleared both parties’ certification process in a field larger than any in modern history.

“There's absolutely no precedent for this,” said Larry Sabato, director of University of Virginia’s Center for Politics and author of a book about nomination fights in Virginia. “There's not a single year that even comes close.”

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Under Virginia redistricting schedule, lawmakers might vote on new maps at height of election season - Virginia Mercury

by Graham Moomaw

It’s already too late for Virginia to redraw political districts in time for the 2021 House of Delegates races, but the U.S. Census Bureau’s decision to speed up its delivery of new population data means Virginia lawmakers could be voting on future maps right before the November elections.

Census officials had told states to expect to get the data by late September, but Virginia officials say they now expect to receive it by the second week of August.

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