Youngkin Nearly Tied with McAuliffe in New Poll; DPVA and RPV Attack Each Other’s Candidates

The Virginia gubernatorial race is neck-and-neck, according to a new poll. 46 percent of respondents support former Governor Terry McAuliffe and 42 percent support GOP nominee Glenn Youngkin, with a 4.2 percent margin of error. The phone poll of 550 likely voters was conducted by JMC Analytics from June 9-12, and was commissioned by CNalysis with funds from 141 donors.

House of Delegates races are even closer. The poll found that 44 percent would support a Democratic candidate for House and 43 percent would support a Republican candidate. Democrats have stronger leads in the Attorney General and Lieutenant Governor elections.

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Michael Bills and Clean Virginia Biggest Losers in Virginia Democratic Primary

Democrats nominated former governor Terry McAuliffe, Attorney General Mark Herring, and Delegate Hala Ayala (D-Prince William) for governor, attorney general, and lieutenant governor respectively. Progressive candidates lost both in those races, and down-ballot in the House of Delegates.

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Virginia Democratic Ticket for November: McAuliffe, Herring, and Ayala

Former governor Terry McAuliffe will again be Virginia Democrats’ nominee for governor, according to the Virginia Public Access Project which called the race on Tuesday evening. Incomplete unofficial results showed McAuliffe soundly beating all four of his challengers.

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Primary Day: Democrats Pick Their Ticket, GOP Watches House Primaries in Districts 9, 83

Virginia Democrats have been voting for months, but Tuesday is the final day of voting in the Democratic primaries for governor, attorney general, and lieutenant governor. The races have highlighted a contrast between progressive and establishment wings of the party, with battles over identity, past scandals, and private versus corporate campaign funding. But Tuesday’s voting includes both Democratic and Republican primaries for House of Delegates districts across the state.

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Ayala Takes $100,000 from Dominion Energy After Taking Funds from Clean Virginia

Dominion Energy gave lieutenant governor candidate Delegate Hala Ayala (D-Prince William) $100,000 at the end of May, according to new campaign finance reports published by The Virginia Public Access Project. That angered anti-utility activist group Clean Virginia which had contributed $25,000 to Ayala’s campaign; Ayala had committed to not accept money from the utility.

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Glenn Youngkin Calls for Reinstatement of Loudoun Teacher Placed on Leave for Opposing Use of Preferred Pronouns in School

GOP gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin has called for Loudoun County Public Schools to reinstate a teacher who was placed on leave after opposing a potential policy requiring staff to use students’ preferred pronouns.

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Roundup: Democratic Lieutenant Governor Candidates Debate, Gubernatorial Candidates Spent Nearly $5.6 Million on TV/Radio

The last day of voting in the Democratic primary is June 8, a week and a half away, but 53,562 people have already voted, exceeding total 2017 turnout of 35,390, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. As the final days of the campaigns approach, gubernatorial and attorney general candidates have had plenty of opportunities to define their public image. However, the six remaining candidates for the Democratic lieutenant governor nomination haven’t had as much time in the spotlight. On Tuesday, the candidates met for a debat

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Steinem Endorses Foy, NARAL Virginia Endorses McClellan: A Gubernatorial Update

The Republicans have picked their nominees for Virginia’s statewide elections, with signs of a pivot towards more moderate voters. The Democratic primary has about three weeks left of early voting, with 35,072 early votes already cast, surpassing total turnout in the primary in 2017, according to The Virginia Public Access Project. Democratic candidates are battling for a few key remaining nominations to sway voters.

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RPV Unassembled Convention Goes Smoothly with About 29,000 Ballots Cast

The Republican Party of Virginia held its unassembled convention to pick party nominees for governor, attorney general, and lieutenant governor on Saturday. Official results will be slow to come in, thanks in part to a decision to hand-count the tens of thousands of ranked-choice ballots. As a result, campaigns and elections watchers are looking at turnout estimates for clues about who the nominees might be. Estimates from Republican Governor’s Association officials claim about 52 percent of the over 53,000 registered delegates turned out.

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Virginia’s Democratic Gubernatorial, Attorney General Candidates Debate

Virginia’s GOP nomination process for governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general is grabbing headlines but early voting in the Democratic primary is still ongoing, and the final day of voting is in June. On Wednesday and Thursday, Democrats held debates between their candidates for attorney general and governor.

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Virginia Gubernatorial Candidates Hustle Before the Convention

After months of contention among party leadership and claims of cheating and irregularities among the candidates, the Republican Party of Virginia will finally select its candidates for statewide office on Saturday, although the final count may not be known for several days. The candidates have fanned out across the state, emphasizing policies like reopening schools and businesses, supporting gun rights, and fighting for election integrity. This week the candidates are making their final appeals to convention delegates with more calls for reform, campaign stops, and support from major GOP political figures.

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A Roundup: Over 50,000 Delegates Register for RPV Convention, Cox Tries Ranked-Choice Strategy, Youngkin Announces Law Enforcement Coalition

The Republican Party of Virginia has 53,524 delegates registered, as of Tuesday, to participate in the RPV unassembled convention at 39 locations on May 8. That’s an all-time record that speaks to party enthusiasm, according to RPV Chairman Rich Anderson’s remarks at a Tuesday debate. Anderson said the last time the RPV was this energized was in 2009 with Bob McDonnell leading the ticket.

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Department of Education Responds to Concerns over Virginia Mathematics Pathways Initiative

After backlash from Republican politicians and activists over the Virginia Mathematics Pathways Initiative (VMPI), Virginia Department of Education officials held a Zoom meeting to respond.

On Monday, VDOE Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane said, “We’ve heard a lot of information shared in some sources with some information that’s just not accurate.”

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Virginia Mathematics Pathways Initiative Draws Concern Over Lowering Academic Standards

A proposed Virginia Mathematics Pathways Initiative (VMPI) has Republicans concerned after Loudoun County School Board member Ian Serotkin warned about the plan on Facebook, first reported by Fox News. Serotkin wrote that there are some good things in the initiative, like enabling students to take calculus in high school. But Serotkin also warned that the VMPI would end math acceleration before 11th grade.

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With GOP Nominating Convention Two Weeks Away, Snyder, Sears Launch Tours

With two weeks until the May 8 GOP nomination convention, GOP candidates are hitting the road. On Friday, gubernatorial candidate Pete Snyder announced a new “Conservative Outlaw Tour” of ten stops over 12 days spread across Virginia accompanied by his barbecue smoker the “Pig Rig” and  “conservative outlaw” special guests. The same day, Lieutenant Governor candidate Winsome Sears announced her “Take Back the Commonwealth” RV tour with 24 scheduled stops over five days.

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Chase, Cox, and Youngkin Send Letter to RPV Criticizing Nomination Vote-Tabulating Plan

Senator Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield), Delegate Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights), and Glenn Youngkin released a letter Wednesday criticizing a vote-counting plan to tally votes in the Republican Party of Virginia’s (RPV)  nominating convention. The convention will use ranked-choice voting, which makes vote counting complicated and time-consuming. An RPV committee has recommended that the RPV use an Excel-based system called the ‘Burkhardt Method.’ But the three candidates say the method is unproven, and may have security concerns.

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New Democratic Primary Poll Shows McAuliffe Still in the Lead

New polling data shows former Governor Terry McAuliffe in the lead with 42 percent, while his closest opponents, Jennifer Carroll Foy and Senator Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) both had 8 percent support, while 29 percent of voters remain undecided.  Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax and Delegate Lee Carter (D-Manasses) came in with seven percent and four percent respectively, placing all the candidates except McAuliffe within range of each other, given the 4.3 percent margin of error. Public Policy Polling conducted the interviews of 526  likely Democratic primary voters on April 12 and 13.

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Effective in July, Virginia Legalizes Small Amounts of Marijuana

RICHMOND, Virginia Simple possession of up to one ounce of marijuana will be legal in Virginia, effective July 1. On Wednesday, the Virginia General Assembly approved Governor Ralph Northam’s proposal to expedite legalization from 2024 to later this year. But legislators warned that doesn’t mean there will be a marijuana free-for-all.

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In Debate, Democratic Gubernatorial Candidates Discuss Gun Violence and the Parole Board

The five Democratic candidates for governor met for the first televised debate on Tuesday evening where they discussed issues including the economic crisis, gun violence, marijuana legalization, the Virginia Parole Board, and vaccine hesitancy. For the most part, the candidates stuck to discussing their own policies, but occasionally turned to attack perceived front-runner McAuliffe.

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Chase Says Convention Rigged, Will Run as Independent if Snyder Wins Nomination

Senator Amanda Chase, candidate for the GOP nomination for governor, says she will run as an independent if Pete Snyder is nominated. Chase appeared on The Jeff Katz Show on Tuesday, where she said that the convention process selected by the Republican Party of Virginia is rigged.

“After all the conventions that I participated in for over a decade, I can tell you, that these conventions are rigged. It’s voter suppression,” Chase said.

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RPV Announces 17 Qualifying Candidates for Nomination for Virginia’s Top Three Seats

Seven gubernatorial candidates successfully filed for the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) nomination convention to be held May 8, the RPV announced Friday. Six candidates filed to run for lieutenant governor, and four candidates filed for the attorney general race.

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Former Trump Press Secretary and Arkansas Gubernatorial Hopeful Sarah Sanders Endorses Pete Snyder for Virginia Governor

Former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has endorsed Virginia gubernatorial candidate Pete Snyder. On Thursday, the Snyder campaign posted a video call between Snyder and Sanders on YouTube.

In the video, Sanders said Snyder was a strong Trump supporter who would fight for schools and businesses to be open.

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Virginia Democratic Gubernatorial Candidates Attack Their GOP Counterparts

Four Democratic candidates for governor blasted their GOP counterparts in a joint statement Thursday.

“Last week, the entire Republican field took their complete embrace of Donald Trump a step beyond the far right extremism that has become the norm in the Virginia GOP,” wrote candidates Jennifer Carroll Foy, Delegate Lee Carter (D-Manassas), Terry McAuliffe, and Senator Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond.)

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Debates, Special Elections, and Hot Dog Reviews: A Virginia Gubernatorial Update

With a special election coming on Tuesday for Senate District 38, gubernatorial candidates on both side of the aisle made appearances this week campaigning for Laurie Buchwald (D) and Travis Hackworth (R). But the governor’s race this week also featured hot dog reviews, a Democratic debate, and attacks between candidates.

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Consulting Firm Staffer Claims to Represent Republican Party of Virginia While Working for Glenn Youngkin

Glenn Youngkin’s gubernatorial campaign is facing criticism after a canvasser for a political consultant firm claimed to represent the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) while canvassing door-to-door. The canvasser was caught when she visited RPV State Central Committee (SCC) Member Heather Stefl’s house, who pushed back until the canvasser admitted she actually worked for Vanguard Field Strategies, a company working for Youngkin’s campaign.

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Virginia Takes Restaurant to Court After Owner Doesn’t Obey Mask Requirements

Gourmeltz 90’s Music Bar & Drafthouse, based in Spotsylvania, has had its health certification suspended after owner Matt Strickland refused to enforce bar closures and mask restrictions. Strickland refused to close after the certification was suspended, and the attorney general is now seeking an injunction against Strickland that will force Gourmeltz to close, according to Fox5. Strickland had a court hearing on Friday, and is now waiting for a decision from the judge.

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Political Ads and Gun Shows: A GOP Gubernatorial Update

The Republican Party of Virginia has finally selected a clear nomination process, and the GOP gubernatorial candidates are working to register delegates who will vote for them in the unassembled convention. They’re also attending gun shows, launching new political ads, and attacking the Virginia Parole Board.

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Virginia GOP Leadership Votes to Hold Unassembled Convention

After months of heated Zoom meetings, on Friday night the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) State Central Committee (SCC) finally voted to hold an unassembled nomination convention. Delegates to the May 8 convention will visit one of 37 drive-in locations and drop off a completed ranked-choice ballot, and then return home.

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Gubernatorial Hopeful Pete Snyder Announces Election Integrity Plan

Pete Snyder announced his ‘Honest Vote’ election integrity plan on Thursday. The six-point plan focuses on transparency ballot verification and ballot verification measures.

“Having secure, legal, and trustworthy elections is something that we must demand in our Commonwealth. Unfortunately, for too many Virginians, whether they be Republicans, Democrats or independents, trust in our election system has been severely strained and due to many last minute Covid-related changes to our voting systems,” Snyder said in a press release.

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Despite Last Week’s Vote, Republican Party of Virginia Still Doesn’t Have a Clear Path to Nominate Candidates

The Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) still doesn’t have a finalized option for how to nominate its candidates, despite the final-sounding words of party officials last week.

The RPV State Central Committee (SCC) has decided to hold a drive-in convention at Liberty University (LU), but after a site visit with LU officials Wednesday, the RPV team determined that convention would not be feasible. In a letter published Friday, RPV Chair Rich Anderson renewed a call for a convention that would have satellite locations across Virginia, and announced that the SCC would hold another Zoom meeting to vote on an unassembled convention again.

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New Mission PAC Hosts GOP Gubernatorial Forum

GOP gubernatorial candidates Delegate Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights), Peter Doran, Sergio de la Peña, and Glenn Youngkin met on Zoom on Thursday evening to answer policy questions about school reform, fixing Virginia’s tax code, improving broadband access, and making Virginia more veteran friendly. The New Mission PAC hosted the forum. PAC founder Daniel Gade and former Delegate Chris Saxman asked the questions in a format designed to allow candidates to demonstrate policy positions without engaging in direct debate.

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Senator Amanda Chase Still Dominates Virginia Gubernatorial Conversation as Other Candidates Announce New Policy Plans, Make Campaign Stops

More gubernatorial polls this week show most voters are undecided, allowing contest leaders to continue to claim front-runner status while allowing everybody else to claim theoretical wins. But there’s more gubernatorial news than that — this week’s campaign news features new policy announcements, major endorsements, messaging controversy, and a late-night television mention.

First, the poll: 49 percent of Democratic voters and 55 percent of Republican voters are undecided, according to a Christoper Newport University/Wason Center Poll. Former Governor Terry McAuliffe leads Democrats with 26 percent, while Senator Amanda Chase leads Republicans with 17 percent.

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Gubernatorial Candidate Youngkin Announces Plan for an Election Integrity Task Force

Citing a need to restore trust in elections, gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin announced an Election Integrity Task Force on Monday.

“This is not a Democrat issue or a Republican issue, it’s a democracy issue,” Youngkin said in a press release. “Both parties have long raised concerns, and we must restore Americans’ faith in the integrity of our elections.”

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Virginia GOP State Central Committee Bypasses Chairman Anderson, Calls for Saturday Meeting to Vote on a Nomination Canvass

On Saturday more shots were fired in the ongoing battle between the pro-primary minority and pro-convention majority factions of the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) State Central Committee (SCC). Over one-third of the 72 SCC members called for a meeting to vote on a party canvass this Saturday, February 20. By banding together to issue the call, the minority bypasses Chairman Rich Anderson, who had called for a meeting February 27, four days after a deadline to call for a state-run primary to nominate the party’s candidates for 2021.

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New Poll Results, GOP Candidates Hit The Campaign Trail, and Democrats Hit Zoom: A Virginia Gubernatorial Update

An independent YouGov gubernatorial poll of 508 internet respondents was released Friday. Senator Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) leads the GOP pack with 19 percent, with Pete Snyder at 10 percent and Delegate Kirk Cox at six percent. In the poll, first reported by The Virginia Scope, former Governor Terry McAuliffe leads Democratic candidates with 33 percent. The other leading Democratic candidates are well behind McAuliffe and are effectively tied given a five percent margin of error. Jennifer Carroll Foy and Senator Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) come in at six percent each, with Delegate Lee Carter (D-Manassas) just behind at five percent and Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax at four percent. Both races are still marked by high amounts of undecided voters.

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Running Out of Options, Virginia GOP State Central Committee Might Choose 2021 Party Nominees

  The Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) is headed towards the State Central Committee (SCC) selecting the GOP 2021 nominees for governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general. A majority of the party has voted repeatedly for an in-person convention, which is illegal under current COVID-19 executive orders. A minority of…

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Former Business Executive Glenn Youngkin Officially Joins Race for Virginia Governor

Former business executive and political outsider, Glenn Youngkin has officially joined the 2021 Virginia governor’s race seeking the Republican nomination.

Youngkin, 54, made the formal announcement through an online statement and campaign video released on Wednesday.

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Virginia Lawsuit Reduces Threshold: Only 2,000 Signatures Needed to Get on 2021 Ballot

Statewide candidates for the Democratic primary and independents for the 2021 Virginia general election now only have to get 2,000 signatures, which can be collected electronically, and they only need to get 50 from each congressional district. The change is the result of a settlement after gubernatorial candidate Delegate Lee Carter (D-Manassas) and Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Paul Goldman sued Virginia elections officials arguing that during COVID-19, asking candidates to send teams out across the state collecting in-person signatures was a recipe for problems.

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Businessman Pete Snyder Enters Race for Virginia Governor

Virginia 30 Day Fund founder Pete Snyder announced Tuesday that he is running for governor. Snyder is experienced as a social media entrepreneur, investor, and political operative. He’s positioning himself as the answer to problems caused in 2020 by Governor Ralph Northam and the Democrat-led General Assembly.

“We have faced the biggest crisis that we’ve seen in over 100 years, and our leadership in Richmond has absolutely failed us,” Snyder told The Virginia Star.

Failing businesses, closed schools, criminal justice reforms, and a loss of First and Second Amendment rights are the issues the entrepreneur said are fueling his campaign in 2021.

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Virginia GOP Moves Forward with Nominating Convention Amidst Chaos and Intense Division

After another stalemate between pro-primary and pro-convention factions of the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) State Central Committee (SCC), Chairman Rich Anderson said he will move forward with plans for a convention.

“The majority of the SCC voted today for a third time to conduct an assembled in-person Republican State Convention. Our hope is to get SCC buy-in in a later meeting on proposals to transform it to an unassembled state convention, like we did last summer,” Anderson told The Virginia Star.

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Senator McClellan Unveils Universal Child Care and Early Learning Plan as Part of Gubernatorial Campaign

Democratic candidate for governor and Virginia State Senator Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond City) released a plan central to her campaign last Friday that seeks to provide affordable and quality child care for every family with a kid under the age of five by 2025.

Under McClellan’s Universal Child Care & Early Learning Plan, Virginia families that make below or up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level would receive free child care, no matter the family size. While families making above that poverty threshold would have to pay for child care costs, but no more than 7 percent of their annual income.

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Year-End Campaign Fundraising Haul for Virginia’s Statewide Candidates Shows McAuliffe Far Ahead, Followed by Foy

With Virginia’s statewide elections for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general drawing ever closer, candidates’ campaign finance reports literally show who has been busy fundraising, but can also offer an early glimpse of their viability in the races. 

On Saturday, year-end fundraising reports, covering the second half of last year from July 1st to December 31st, for each statewide candidate were released to the public. The Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP) compiled the numbers and listed the cash on hand for each candidate.

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Multi-Millionaire Glenn Youngkin to Run for Virginia Governor

Former business executive and multi-millionaire Glenn Youngkin is planning to join the Virginia governor’s race as a Republican candidate and expected to make an official announcement soon, according to reporting from The Washington Post.

Youngkin, 54, would be the third GOP candidate to declare for the 2021 election and the only conservative hopeful with no experience running for or holding elected office.

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Former Trump Official Sergio de la Peña Joins Virginia Gubernatorial Race

Former Trump official Sergio de la Peña announced Monday that he’s entering the race to be the Republican nominee for Virginia governor. de la Peña served 30 years in the Army, where he reached the rank of colonel. He also served as Trump’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs, and he says that experience will set him apart from the suddenly crowded field of GOP gubernatorial candidates.

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Delegate Lee Carter Officially Announces Run for Governor

Virginia State Delegate Lee J. Carter (D-Manassas) officially joined the governor’s race last Friday and is now part of the crowded Democratic field vying for the party nomination this summer.

Carter, 33, is the fifth Democrat to seek the Executive Mansion next November and had originally filed paperwork to raise money for a gubernatorial bid last month.

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Virginia State Senator Amanda Chase on D.C. Rally: ‘It Was Very Heartwarming’

State Senator Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) was present at the Washington, D.C. rally on Wednesday morning, and she told The Virginia Star that it was a historic day after historic voter fraud.

“It was very heartwarming,” Chase said. “The people that were there, they were good people. They were patriots, they love their country, they were there to peacefully show support. They weren’t there for destructive purposes at all.”

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Virginia Governor Candidate Kirk Cox Reportedly Says Biden Will be Next President

GOP candidate for governor and Virginia State Delegate Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) reportedly said Tuesday he does not stand with Republicans in Congress who plan to object to the Electoral College votes and that Joe Biden will be the next President of the United States. 

Cox’s reported comments were shared by Daniel Grimes, a reporter and weekend anchor for NBC29 in Charlottesville, in a post on Twitter. 

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Princess Blanding Announces Third-Party Run for Virginia Governor

Community activist and mental health advocate Princess Blanding, whose brother was fatally shot by Richmond Police in 2018, announced her entrance into the 2021 Virginia governor’s race on Tuesday as a third-party candidate, joining a group of hopefuls featuring former and current state politicians.

Blanding, 38, will be running as an independent candidate under the Liberation Party, whose mission to advance equity by uplifting traditionally underserved and oppressed communities, according to a press release.

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Republican State Senator Emmett Hanger Still Seriously Considering a Bid for Governor

As the 2021 elections inch closer and begin to dominate almost all political talk in the Commonwealth, Sen. Emmett Hanger (R-Augusta) is still exploring a potential run to become the 74th governor of Virginia.

Hanger, 72, recently discussed the gubernatorial election and the difficulty of securing the GOP nomination in an interview with The Virginia Star. 

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Virginia’s Power Dems Line Up Behind McAuliffe

Now that the 2020 elections are over and the field for Virginia’s 2021 gubernatorial election has taken shape, it is the prime time for candidates to receive endorsements from former and current politicians, community leaders and other elected officials.

For some of the Democratic candidates, endorsements seem to be occurring every other day.

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