Cox pushes back against Chase's comments about McClellan and a GOP consultant's staffer resigns after a video surfaced online.
The latest news in Virginia politics and statewide campaigns.
A staffer associated with a gubernatorial campaign resigns after video surfaces Wednesday
A woman walked up to a home in Virginia on Wednesday and claimed to work for the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) as she tried to sign the homeowner up to be a statewide convention delegate. RPV officials say that this woman is not involved with the party at all, however, as they continue to prepare for the convention to choose their nominees for governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general.
The woman was actually employed by a consulting firm on behalf of a gubernatorial campaign and has resigned her position after a video of her encounter with the homeowner was posted online Wednesday.
In the video that was filmed by a Ring doorbell camera, the woman can be heard asking the homeowner for her personal information to fill out a form to become a convention delegate.
“I am working with the Republican Party in Virginia,” the woman said to the homeowner. “Would you mind filling this out? For the voting process now, we have to get your name, your address, and your phone number, and just a quick signature.”
“For what?” replied the homeowner.
“It is for so when you go to vote this year — because of COVID and everything they are doing it a little bit differently, you can’t just walk in and vote, you need to pre-register here and then they give you a time for you to go. You just can drive up and vote really quick and leave,” the woman said.
“Is this for a particular candidate?” the homeowner asked.
“It is for the Republican Party, not for a particular candidate,” the woman responded.
The homeowner is a member of the Republican State Central Committee and she knew that RPV was not involved with this type of action. In an interview, she said she knows it is up to the local GOP units and the candidates themselves to reach out and register Republican voters so they can become delegates and participate in the nomination convention on May 8.
Rich Anderson, the chairman of RPV said in an interview Wednesday that the woman attempting to collect signatures in the video in no way representing RPV. “I’ve been trying to do due diligence to identify who this young lady works for, which we haven’t been able to determine,” Anderson said. “She appears to be an inexperienced teenager.”
Later in the video, the homeowner asked for confirmation from the woman as to who she was employed by. “And you work for RPV?”
“Yeah,” the woman responded, before providing more context. “Well, I work for Vanguard Field Services but it is for the Republican Party.”
Vanguard Field Services does not exist. Vanguard Field Strategies, however, is a widely-known field organization that falls under the umbrella of the GOP mega-consultant Axiom Strategies.
After several tips that Axiom Strategies works with Glenn Youngkin’s gubernatorial campaign, Virginia Scope contacted Youngkin’s staff for a response to the video. “Vanguard was engaged by the Youngkin campaign to help voters understand the Republican Party convention process,” said a spokesperson for the campaign. “We immediately brought this video to Vanguard’s attention because it was unacceptable and did not meet the standards of our agreement or the standards of our campaign. We demanded and are assured that Vanguard took appropriate actions.”
The president of Vanguard also provided Virginia Scope with a statement. “Vanguard takes full responsibility for this individual’s failure to adhere to Vanguard’s training guidelines, and we immediately recalled her from the field upon seeing this video. It was this individual’s first day and this was one of the first homes she visited. She was the only individual trained by Vanguard this morning and she has resigned her position. This morning, she visited 23 homes and collected 5 forms, and our team has already contacted those voters to ensure they have peace of mind that their form will be handled properly. Vanguard is redoubling our training efforts to ensure our team is properly identifying themselves as representatives of the Youngkin campaign and properly explaining the convention process to Republicans who say they want to vote.”
The Youngkin campaign said that they will continue to make sure that their campaign and the vendors they employ will “adhere to the high ethical standards that Glenn expects and Virginia Republicans deserve.”
Anderson declined to comment any further.
Kirk Cox pushes back against Amanda Chase’s comments about Senator Jennifer McClellan and the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus
In case you missed this report from the Associated Press, “Amanda Chase, a Republican running for Virginia governor as a self-described “Trump in heels,” said at a campaign event that a fellow state senator seeking the Democratic nod in the race would not “be a governor that supports everyone” because of her leadership in the legislative Black caucus.”
The Democratic gubernatorial hopeful being referenced is state Senator Jennifer McClellan. “As a Black woman in politics, I’ve faced racist attacks before, ” McClellan said in response. “But I will never let racism and bigotry get in the way of delivering progress for every community in Virginia.”
Chase responded to the AP article on Wednesday in a tweet. “I’m sick and tired of being called a racist when it’s Sen McClellan leading divisive organizations that exist for the sole purpose of promoting Virginians of one color. We’re Virginians. I will be a Governor for ALL of Virginia.”
Kirk Cox, the former Speaker of the House of Delegates who is also seeking the Republican nomination for governor responded Wednesday to Chase’s comments. "I disagree with those comments. They're wrong,” Cox said. “I've worked with the Legislative Black Caucus and understand what they believe in and why they want a voice. Virginia Republicans need to nominate a candidate that will add members to our ranks, not encourage division. We can elect a conservative as our next governor, but we will need to reach every Virginian in order to do so."
Va. candidate's COVID charity shrouded key information - Axios
by Lachlan Markay
Virginia gubernatorial candidate Pete Snyder boasted about a cash haul for his COVID-19 relief nonprofit last year that was more than five times what it had estimated raising in a sworn statement to the IRS, Axios has learned.
Why it matters: The Virginia 30 Day Fund's mission is central to Snyder's political brand. It's a calling card for the Republican in a crowded primary in a bellwether off-year race. But early, apparently erroneous disclosures to the IRS allowed the group to shield from public view key information about its operators, operations and finances.
Cox, Snyder, and Youngkin stump for GOP candidate in a state Senate special election
Republicans are likely to retain the seat of former Republican state Senator Ben Chafin in an upcoming special election for district 38 — that doesn’t mean the race is lacking in political maneuvering, however. Gubernatorial candidates Kirk Cox, Pete Snyder, and Glenn Youngkin have all campaigned for the Republican candidate in the district as they attempt to gain as much support from their party before the statewide nomination convention in May.
Stay tuned for a second update later today with the latest developments from this morning.