Friendly reminder, there’s a big Governor’s race in Virginia this year:
Virginia Republican state Sen. Amanda Chase is no stranger to making provocative statements, and comments she made this week related to the Derek Chauvin murder trial have once again stirred up controversy.
Chauvin is the former Minneapolis police officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck for what authorities say was 9 1/2 minutes during an arrest last year, including several minutes after Floyd stopped breathing. The arrest was captured on cellphone video and prompted nationwide protests.
“I am so concerned about our law enforcement right now quitting. You should be too,” Chase told a crowd in King William County, which is east of Richmond.
Chase is one of the most conservative of GOP candidates, with a hardline stance on abortion, gun control, and policing reform. A fervent supporter of former President Donald Trump, on Tuesday she repeated false claims that “the 2020 presidential election was stolen.”
She also proudly touted her presence at a pro-Trump rally on January 6 in Washington, DC, the day that rioters stormed the Capitol. According to Post, she did not join the riot itself.
Speaking Tuesday, she said: “I had the audacity to attend the January 6 rally in DC and I called the peaceful protesters patriots, because they are.”
Chase has attracted the endorsement of Michael Flynn, the disgraced former National Security Advisor to Trump.
Her comments about the Chauvin verdict drew censure from Democrats and progressives. Both American Bridge 21st Century, a liberal super PAC, and the Democratic Party of Virginia, posted a clip of her comments to Twitter.
That former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin is now a was convicted of murder, among other charges, serves as proof that the “system of justice has worked as it should,” according to the head of the country's largest police union
In a statement following Tuesday's verdict, in which Chauvin was convicted of killing George Floyd last summer, the president of the Fraternal Order of Police, Patrick Yoes, accepted the jury's findings.
“The trial was fair and due process was served,” Yoes said.
The statement is consistent with what the organization said soon after the video of Floyd's killing went viral last May. At the time, the group issued a statement distancing itself and the profession of law enforcement from Chauvin's actions.
“I’m concerned that the decision was politically motivated more to prevent civil unrest than to serve justice,” she later said in a written statement. “The decision made today sends a clear message to law enforcement; the justice system doesn’t have your back.”
With those remarks, Chase has lined up well to the right of some of her party’s most conservative leaders, including Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). A Trump loyalist, Jordan would not say explicitly whether he agreed with the verdict but told CNN: “The justice system works. I said last summer that what happened to George Floyd was as wrong as wrong can be, and the justice system will work and that’s what we saw happened.”Chauvin, a White police officer, took Floyd, who was Black, into custody last May. Handcuffed and face down on the pavement, Floyd died when Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes. The killing sparked protests over racial injustice nationwide.Chase’s stance puts her in the company of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who have likewise suggested that jurors convicted Chauvin because they feared an acquittal would lead to unrest.
But on the Democratic side, today’s poll gives us an idea of who’s the party’s front runner:
— Blue Virginia (@bluevirginia) April 22, 2021
Nearly half of Virginia Democrats support Terry McAuliffe for governor, a new poll from Christopher Newport University’s Wason Center for Civic Leadership found.
With 27% of Democratic voters still undecided, 47% of voters support Terry McAuliffe, while none of the other four candidates are seeing double-digit support: Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax reached 8%, Senator Jennifer McClellan reached 6% , former Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy reached 5% and Del. Lee Carter sits at 1%.
Attorney Mark Herring, seeking a third term, still leads Delegate Jay Jones as the party’s nomination for attorney general with 42%. Jones has about 18% of support. 34% of Democrat voters remain undecided, CNU’s poll found.
Delegate Sam Rasoul leads the race for the Democratic lieutenant governor nomination with 12%, with 64% of voters undecided. Delegate Elizabeth Guzman led the other six candidates with the support of 4% of Democratic voters, but withdrew from the race while the survey was in the field.
PPP’s newest Virginia poll continues to find Terry McAuliffe with a strong advantage in the primary for Governor. McAuliffe is at 42% with the rest of the Democratic hopefuls in single digits. Jennifer Carroll Foy and Jennifer McClellan each get 8%, Justin Fairfax 7%, and Lee Carter comes in at 4%. 29% of voters remain undecided.
McAuliffe’s lead is pretty broad across different demographic groups. He leads with 45% among African Americans and 42% with white voters as well. He has commanding leads in each of the state’s major media markets as well, coming in at 49% in Norfolk, 42% in Washington, and 37% in both Richmond and Roanoke.
McAuliffe has 68% name recognition and is seen positively by 59% of primary voters to only 9% who have a negative view of him. Fairfax is the next best known candidate with 51% name recognition but feelings about him are considerably more evenly divided with 26% seeing him favorably and 25% unfavorably. None of the sitting legislators running are very well known yet. McClellan has 28% name recognition, Foy’s is 23%, and Carter’s is 16%. Their hope will have to be that they can cut into McAuliffe’s advantage as voters become more familiar with them.
Let’s get ready to keep Virginia Blue. Click below to donate and get involved with the Virginia Democratic Party and with your preferred Democratic candidates for Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General:
Virginia Democratic Party