Attorney General Miyares Creates Election Integrity Unit

Attorney General Jason Miyares has created a 20-member Election Integrity Unit within the Office of the Attorney General [OAG]; the unit will investigate and prosecute violations of election law, provide legal guidance, and work with law enforcement to protect election purity.

“I pledged during the 2021 campaign to work to increase transparency and strengthen confidence in our state elections. It should be easy to vote, and hard to cheat. The Election Integrity Unit will work to help to restore confidence in our democratic process in the Commonwealth,” Miyares said in a press release.

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Youngkin Highlights New State Tax Deduction on Military Retirement Benefits

Governor Glenn Youngkin held a ceremonial signing highlighting legislation from State Senator Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) and Delegate John McGuire (R-Goochland) that creates a state tax deduction on military retirement income.

“As part of my Day One Game Plan, I’ve pledged to fight for a reduction in military veteran retirement pay taxation, and today, we are delivering on that promise. This is a great step toward making Virginia the most veteran-friendly state in the country. As we near the anniversary of 9/11, I feel honored to support our service members in this way. I want to thank the legislators for their incredible work as we continue to advocate for our military-connected communities, veterans, and their families,” Youngkin said in a press release Friday.

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VA-02, 07, 10 Incumbents Hold Lead in Congressional Fundraising; Early Fundraising Gives Preview of Competitive 2023 General Assembly Primaries

Incumbents are leading in fundraising in Virginia’s competitive congressional races, according to new second-quarter reports; Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07) has about $4.9 million cash on hand, Representative Elaine Luria (D-VA-02) has about $4.3 million cash on hand, and Representative Jennifer Wexton has about $3.6 million on hand. Luria’s Republican challenger State Senator Jen Kiggans (R-Virginia Beach) has $413,279 cash on hand; Wexton’s challenger Hung Cao has $354,183 on hand, and Spanberger challenger Yesli Vega has $246,070, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.

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At Rally, Rep. Good Blasts Virginia Republicans for Negotiating on Abortion, Del. March Drafting Life-At Conception Legislation Amid Contentious 2023 Primary Battle

RICHMOND, Virginia – Congressman Bob Good (R-VA-05) held a rally on the Virginia Capitol grounds on Saturday afternoon to pressure Republican lawmakers to pursue a from-conception abortion ban, about two weeks after Governor Glenn Youngkin and leading pro-life lobbyist organization The Family Foundation said that they’d push for a 15-week pain threshold bill, due to the politically difficult environment in the General Assembly.

“The timeline of abortion should not be negotiated, abortion should not be negotiated, it should be eliminated,” Good said in his speech. “I’m sorry to say Republicans here in Richmond are the worst negotiators of all. You want to play poker with these folks. They show you what’s in their cards, they tell you the highest bid, and then they fold anyway.”

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Virginia House, Senate Pass Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Compromise

RICHMOND, Virginia — The Republican-controlled House of Delegates and the Democrat-controlled Senate finally sent a budget compromise for Fiscal Year 2023 beginning July 1 to Governor Glenn Youngkin on Wednesday, but while leaders from both parties praised the budget, individual Democrats and Republicans criticized the compromise for problems ranging from no gas tax holiday to cuts on mental health resources.

House Appropriations Chair Barry Knight (R-Virginia Beach) told delegates, “It’s been a long haul, but I believe the result is a fiscally sound, bipartisan budget we can all be proud of.”

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Virginia’s State Sen. Chase Criticizes Youngkin’s Appointment of Susan Beals for Commissioner of the Department of Elections

Susan Beal and Amanda Chase

Governor Glenn Youngkin selected Chesterfield Electoral Board member Susan Beals to serve as his commissioner of the Department of Elections. The Friday announcement led to initial alarm from some Democrats, since Beals worked as an aide for Senator Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield), who has been outspoken in highlighting alleged irregularities in the 2020 presidential election in Virginia. However, Chase said she’s disappointed by the appointment, and Senate Privileges and Elections Chair Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) sounds open-minded about Beals.

“While I congratulate Susan on her appointment, it’s a huge disappointment to those of us who have spent countless hours investigating the irregularities that occurred in the 2020 presidential election,” Chase said in a statement sent to The Virginia Star.

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Mike Allers Announces Run for State Senate 2023, with Potential to Face Either Sen. Reeves or Del. Freitas

Mike Allers, Sr. is seeking the GOP nomination for state senate district 28, he announced Tuesday, over a year before the November 2023 election.

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Virginia State Senator Dunnavant Protests Plexiglass Shields in Floor Speech

Siobhan Dunnavant

Senator Siobhan Dunnavant (R-Henrico) protested the plexiglass shields that surround senators’ desks on the senate floor.

“The first week we were here together, I shared with the body through Madam Clerk the data that shows that devices like these do not help mitigate the risk of COVID, and that they may indeed increase risk of COVID,” Dunnavant said in a floor speech. “There is no emergency order in place.”

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State Sen. Chase Presents Data About 2020 Election to Virginia Attorney General Miyares’ Office; Republicans and Democrats Kill Her Effort to Fund a Full Forensic Audit of the Election

Senator Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) told senators Thursday that she had delivered information about the 2020 election to Attorney General Jason Miyares’ office on Tuesday. She pushed several budget amendment that would have spent millions of dollars on investigations both into the 2020 election and on future elections, but her amendments received vigorous opposition from Democrats and feeble support from Republicans.

“We presented quite a bit of data and information, our team did, to the attorney general’s office the day before yesterday, and one of their comments was that they need more time and more resources to do that investigation,” Chase said during debate over budget amendments.

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House of Delegates Subcommittee Advances Three Republican Elections Reforms

The General Assembly started out Tuesday with a 7 a.m. House of Delegates subcommittee meeting where Republicans passed some election reforms bills, and ended the day in a lengthy Senate committee meeting where Democrats killed seven of Senator Amanda Chase’s (R-Chesterfield) election reform bills. The House Privileges and Elections Subcommittee One heard three bills focused on absentee voting, voter photo identification and voter registration.

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After Senate Committee Kills Sen. Chase’s Ivermectin Bill, Capitol Police Direct Upset Supporters to Leave

Virginia Capitol Police directed upset members of the public out of a Senate Education and Health Committee meeting after the committee killed Senator Amanda Chase’s bill aimed at protecting medical providers who prescribe ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19.

“This bill is about a patient’s right to life. A patient has a right to life and should not be prohibited from potential life-saving medication by a hospital, a pharmacy, or other administrative agency. Patients should be able to make decisions about their care and treatment in conjunction with the knowledge and expertise of their treating physician,” Chase told the committee on Thursday morning.

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Virginia Senate Committee Kills Sen. Chase’s Bills Banning Discrimination Against People Who Refuse to Mask or Get COVID-19 Vaccines

RICHMOND, Virginia – The Senate General Laws and Technology Committee killed two of Senator Amanda Chase’s (R-Chesterfield) bills seeking to outlaw discrimination against those who refuse to wear masks or get COVID-19 vaccines.

“While we have many opinions about whether to wear masks or not, it should be an individual right. It should be an individual choice. I remember a period of time whenever that was not necessarily an option, and it impeded people who had disabilities from actually getting healthcare services because they could not wear a mask, not being able to go to the grocery store, shop. We cannot deny people a basic human right of being provided healthcare and basic human services,” Chase told the committee on Wednesday afternoon, arguing for her bill SB 582.

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Senate Committee Kills Republican Election Integrity Reforms, Obenshain-Chase Conflict Resurfaces, Surovell Criticizes Miyares for Firing 30 Attorneys

RICHMOND, Virginia — The Virginia Senate Privileges and Elections killed several Republican- sponsored elections integrity bills on Tuesday afternoon, including photo voter identification bills and a bill to repeal same-day voter registration. The committee also killed campaign finance reform bills from Senators Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond) and Senator Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax.)

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General Assembly Session Day Two: Filler-Corn Criticizes Speaker Gilbert for Tweet About Northam State of the Commonwealth

Eileen Filler-Corn

In a Wednesday tweet, Speaker of the House Todd Gilbert blasted Governor Ralph Northam’s final State of the Commonwealth address, leading House Minority Leader Eileen Filler-Corn to respond in a floor statement on Thursday.

“Ralph Northam is leaving office as his own lost cause, condescendingly lecturing us all from some assumed moral high ground because he read the book ‘Roots’ and then went on a non-stop reconciliation tour. Saturday can’t come fast enough,” Gilbert wrote.

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Freshman Virginia Delegate Tim Anderson Aims at Gun Control

Freshman Delegate Tim Anderson (R-Virginia Beach) has pre-filed a suite of bills that, if enacted, will roll back many of Democrats’ gun control initiatives from recent years. Anderson’s four bills would eliminate fees for concealed handgun permits; reduce penalties for carrying concealed weapons without permits; remove the one handgun-a-month purchasing limit on people who don’t have permits; and remove authority for localities to implement their own gun bans on municipal property.

“As far as the Second Amendment bills, I am seeking to revoke the nonsensical one-gun-a-month bill for non-concealed carry holders because there is no evidence to support that someone is more dangerous without a concealed carry permit than someone who has one,” Anderson said.

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Lee Monument and Other Richmond Confederate Statues to be Given to Virginia Museum

The Lee Monument and the other Confederate statues from Richmond’s Monument Avenue will be given to the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia, which will partner with The Valentine and other Richmond organizations to determine the future of the objects. The Thursday announcement is the latest move from Governor Ralph Northam, who has been working to conclude removal of the controversial Lee Monument and remove state control of the monument and the land.

“Symbols matter and for too long, Virginia’s most prominent symbols celebrated our country’s tragic division and the side that fought to keep alive the institution of slavery by any means possible,” Northam said in a Thursday press release shared by NBC12 reporter Henry Graff.

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Lt. Governor-Elect Winsome Sears Tells Virginia GOP Advance: Democrats Get Four Years of Me, ‘It’s Going to Be Fun’

In his speech at the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) Advance, Glenn Youngkin got applause and cheers, but Lieutenant Governor-elect Winsome Sears also earned laughter with her Saturday keynote address that was part victory speech, part stand-up comedy routine aimed at Virginia’s Democrats and identity politics.

The crowd of RPV insiders at the gala erupted when she took aim at outgoing Governor Ralph Northam.

“So actually, I don’t know. They say that I’m a white supremacist. I’m going to try to figure out if I’m the one in the blackface or I’m the one in the sheet,” Sears said.

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Seventh Congressional Race Update: McGuire Decides to Run, Reeves Calls for Reinstatement of Officer Who Donated to Rittenhouse’s Legal Fund

Delegate John McGuire (R-Henrico) has been gradually ramping up his campaign for the GOP nomination for Virginia’s seventh congressional district: touting his fundraising totals, asking supporters for money, and beginning to file necessary federal paperwork for the campaign. That’s not a surprise, and McGuire joins the list of candidates entering the race despite a lack of clarity about what the district will look like after redistricting. McGuire, Senator Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania), and Senator Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) are the heavyweights at this point in the race.

“Over the past year, I’ve had countless Virginians tell me I need to run for Congress to help save our country from the radical left leaders in Washington. Well, after our major win on November 2nd, and a lot of prayer with my wife, we’ve decided it’s our time to get into this race to take back the House in 2022,” McGuire said in a statement to The Virginia Star.

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Virginia State Rep. Amanda Chase Announces Campaign for Congress

Senator Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) has announced her candidacy for Virginia’s Seventh Congressional District. On Wednesday, she made multiple radio talk show appearances and held a press conference in the Virginia capitol.

“We need a specific type of demographic to beat Abigail Spanberger. I am a suburban mom from Chesterfield, and that determines who wins in the seventh district,” Chase said on the John Fredericks Show. “I know the people of the seventh. I’ve worked for all the winning congressmen. It was my job to get them reelected. And so I know how to do it.”

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Race for GOP Virginia Seventh District Nomination: Sears Speaks at Campaign Kickoff for Tina Ramirez; Sen. Chase Files Statement of Candidacy

Virginia’s 2021 election cycle isn’t quite over, and redistricting on congressional districts isn’t complete, but GOP candidates are ramping up their campaigns for the nomination in Virginia’s seventh district. On Tuesday, lieutenant governor-elect Winsome Sears spoke at a campaign kickoff for Tina Ramirez, who also ran for the nomination for the seat in 2020.

“Winning feels good, doesn’t it,” Sears said. “We changed things. People have started looking and thinking, well how did they do that? That’s because of you. We did it because you got involved.”

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Virginia Governor-Elect Youngkin’s Top Campaign Promises in Education, COVID-19, Economics, Law Enforcement, and Elections Policy

Glenn Youngkin in crowd during a rally

Glenn Youngkin will be Virginia’s next governor, part of a near-complete Republican takeover of Virginia’s government. In 2022, Republicans will be governor, attorney general, and lieutenant governor. They will also likely hold a two-seat majority in the House of Delegates, although two close races may go to recounts. However, they will not hold the Senate, where Democrats have a 21-to-19 majority. Still, if one Democratic senator flips on a vote, that would create a tie that lieutenant governor-elect Winsome Sears would break. Minority Leader Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah), who House Republicans nominated for Speaker, has said that Republicans do have a mandate, but he is also aware of the need to work across the aisle with the Senate.

All that gives political novice Youngkin strong Republican support to launch efforts to fulfill his campaign promises, but also sets him up for serious challenges to get his policies across the finish line. Still, Virginia governors have extensive power to set policy and funding priorities, and Youngkin will also have executive authority, which will allow him to fulfill some key promises without legislative buy-in.

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Minority Leader Todd Gilbert Previews Republican Priorities for New Virginia House Majority

House of Delegates Minority Leader Todd Gilbert (R-Shenadoah) outlined Republicans’ legislative goals for when they take majority control of the House, governor, attorney general, and lieutenant governor’s seats. In a press conference Friday, he said that win did give Republicans a mandate, but said he was also aware of the need to work across the aisle since the Senate remains in Democratic control. He said the issues that Republicans raised during the campaigns would drive their agenda, including schools, cost of living, and public safety.

“We know we have a divided government now, and for lots of reasons, we think at least in terms of administration of the institutions, we will probably work better with the Democratic leadership  than the House leadership did,” Gilbert said.

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Virginia Attorney General Herring Asks Chase to Support Her Claims of Cheating in Current Elections

Attorney General Mark Herring asked Senator Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) to produce evidence supporting her claims of cheating in the current election.

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Virginia State Senator Bryce Reeves Seeking Congressional Nomination to Challenge Rep. Abigail Spanberger

State Senator Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) is running for the GOP nomination for Virginia’s seventh congressional district. The region is considered a swing district and Republicans nationally expect to do well in the 2022 midterm congressional elections. The nominee will likely challenge incumbent Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07), who has warned her party about the risks to moderates caused by progressive messaging and policy.

“Under President Trump our economy was humming, people were working, and government did not dominate or intrude in our lives and livelihood. But under Joe Biden and Abigail Spanberger, an intrusive, progressive government is failing us, badly. Spanberger has failed to make the Seventh District what it should be – the best place to work, live, and raise a family,” Reeves said in a Friday press release.

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Former President Trump Calls In to Bannon-Headlined ‘Take Back Virginia’ Rally

Steve Bannon headlined a get-out-the-vote rally for the MAGA base in Henrico on Wednesday evening, where speakers included Senator Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) and Arizona State House Representative Mark Finchem, who is using 2020 election audits in that state in his campaign for Arizona Secretary of State. But the biggest reaction from the crowd came when former President Donald Trump called in for about five minutes.

“Glenn Youngkin is a great gentleman,” Trump said. “You have a chance to get one of the most successful businessmen in the country, and he did it in a quiet professional way, in Glenn Youngkin. I hope — he and others by the way — but I hope Glenn gets in there  and he’ll straighten out Virginia, and he’ll lower taxes, all of the things that we want a governor to do, and I really believe that Virginia is very, very, winnable.”

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Gubernatorial Candidates Use Ads and Political Appearances to Boost Enthusiasm

Gubernatorial candidates Glenn Youngkin and Terry McAuliffe have launched competing ads. A McAuliffe ad links Youngkin’s calls for election integrity to Trump’s claims about the 2020 election, while the Youngkin ad fact-checks McAuliffe’s recitation of recent COVID-19 case numbers.

“On at least three separate days – September 28, September 29, and October 7 – McAuliffe claimed there had recently been 8,000 cases in Virginia, a gross inflation that amounts to nearly three to four times the actual number of cases,” a Youngkin press release explains.

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Richmond’s Robert E. Lee Monument to Come Down After Virginia Supreme Court Dismisses Lawsuits Blocking Removal

The Virginia Supreme Court dissolved injunctions blocking the removal of the Lee monument in Richmond, according to an opinion and an order published by the court on Thursday. In June 2020, Governor Ralph Northam ordered the removal of the monument, which sits on a small piece of land owned by Virginia in the middle of Richmond. Courts issued injunctions to prevent removal while considering two lawsuits challenging the legal authority to remove the monument.

In Taylor v. Northam, plaintiffs argued that documents from the late 1800s prevent the removal. But the court said that the restrictive covenants are unenforceable, and said that they unreasonably try to force government speech indefinitely.

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Virginia House of Delegates Quickly Passes American Rescue Plan Act Spending Bill

RICHMOND, Virginia – The House of Delegates met, passed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) by a 71-25 vote and adjourned in 30 minutes on Wednesday. Facing 107 pages of proposed amendments, a photo-op, and a series of lengthy recesses, the Senate had not completed its debate by press time Wednesday evening although it convened at 10 a.m.

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General Assembly Back in Session, in Person, to Allocate ARPA Funds

RICHMOND, Virginia – The budget bill to allocate $4.3 billion in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds passed out of the House of Delegates Committee on Appropriations on Monday, the first step to passing Governor Ralph Northam’s proposals for the money.

But the first day of the second 2022 special session saw legislative gridlock between the Senate and the House of Delegates. The House passed HJ 7003, which establishes the rules and schedule for how the session will operate. When the legislation was sent to the Senate, Senate Democratic leaders introduced three amendments which received broad bipartisan support.

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Youngkin, Miyares, Sears Stop in Chester for Take Back Virginia Rally

CHESTER, Virginia – The GOP candidates for governor, attorney general, and lieutenant governor stopped in Chester on Saturday afternoon for a rally with about 350 attendees. In 90-degree heat Glenn Youngkin, Delegate Jason Miyares (R-Virginia Beach), and Winsome Sears spoke, mentioning Juneteenth, opposed Critical Race Theory in schools, and called for tough-on-crime policies.

“Virginians for the last eight years have been crushed. And I’ll say right here, right now, eight is enough,” Youngkin said.

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Court Dismisses Chase’s Lawsuit over Censure by the Virginia Senate

The Eastern District Court of Virginia dismissed Senator Amanda Chase’s (R-Chesterfield) lawsuit over her censure by the Senate. On Wednesday, Judge Robert Payne granted a motion to dismiss filed by Attorney General Mark Herring on behalf of the Senate and the Clerk of the Senate. In April, Herring argued that the Senate and the Clerk have sovereign immunity and that the Senate’s decision to censure is a “non-justiciable” political question.

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Virginia Republicans Nominate Glenn Youngkin for Governor

Former Carlyle CEO Glenn Youngkin is the Republican Party of Virginia’s nominee for governor. The win is a surprise since many pundits said that lower-than-expected turnout in Saturday’s convention meant that Youngkin’s base had collapsed. Instead, Youngkin took an early lead in the first round of counting of ranked-choice votes. Although it took six rounds of counting and all of Monday to confirm his win, Youngkin consistently stayed in the lead. In the last round Youngkin carried 54.71 percent of weighted votes to Pete Snyder’s 45.29 percent.

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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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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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In Debate, GOP Gubernatorial Candidates Discuss Amazon and Small Business

Six of the seven GOP gubernatorial candidates met for a debate hosted by the Virginia Federation of Republican Women on Tuesday evening. Candidates answered questions about Dominion voting machines, Second Amendment rights, transportation, and funding law enforcement. Organizers said Pete Snyder had a prior engagement.

Larry O’Connor asked the candidates, “Amazon is king right now in northern Virginia if you didn’t know any better. How will we expect small businesses to survive when government regulations that make it difficult for them are thrown out the window for literally the richest man in the world? How do you plan to protect key real estate in northern Virginia from being swallowed up by one company as well?”

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Debates, Tours, Endorsements, and a Florida Stop: Virginia Candidates Battle for Nomination

The race for the GOP nomination for the top Virginia positions is coming to an end, leading to a debate, tours, and a trip to Florida. In the Democratic primary, early voting has already begun, but big nominations are still rolling in.

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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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Cox Calls for Small-Group and Individual Tutoring to Address Learning Loss

Gubernatorial candidate Delegate Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) agrees that schools need to be reopened immediately. But he says that’s not enough — policymakers need to address learning losses. Districts like Fairfax County have reported spikes in failing grades. Parents and medical studies have expressed concern over the long-term harms caused by a year of virtual learning. Cox is calling for tutoring programs to help students recover academically, and he says he is willing to be one of those tutors.

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McAuliffe, Chase, and Cox Announce Significant Endorsements

Governor Ralph Northam endorsed his predecessor to be his successor. Gubernatorial candidate and former Governor Terry McAuliffe received Northam’s endorsement in a week with several key gubernatorial endorsements. On Thursday, the governor appeared with the former governor in Norfolk.

“We need a leader that can continue this progress. We need a leader that will bring us out of COVID-19, a leader that will help small businesses. A leader that will promote equity in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Terry McAuliffe will do that,” Northam said.

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Gubernatorial Candidate Chase Claims More Convention Corruption

Senator Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) is firing more claims of corruption at her gubernatorial opponent Pete Snyder and Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) officials, based on Snyder’s campaign hiring staffers with roles in the RPV. Snyder’s campaign and some RPV officials say the claims are baseless.

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Chase’s Censure Lawsuit Has Hearing in Federal Court

Amanda Chase

A federal court heard a motion to dismiss Senator Amanda Chase’s (R-Chesterfield) lawsuit over censure on Thursday. The arguments took hours, and the judge said he would take some time to consider the motion before issuing a ruling on whether the suit can go forward, according to an update from Chase and her lawyer Tim Anderson.

The motion to dismiss argues that censure is a political question outside the jurisdiction of the court, and that the defendants — the Senate and Senate Clerk Susan Schaar — have sovereign immunity. However, Anderson argued that Chase was censured for things she had said, making the censure a violation of her First Amendment rights.

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Winsome Sears Shocks Race for Lieutenant Governor, Receives Endorsement of Amanda Chase and Octavia Johnson

On Monday, former Delegate Winsome Sears, candidate for the Republican nomination for Lieutenant Governor in Virginia, was endorsed by gubernatorial candidates State Senator Amanda Chase (I-Chesterfield) and former Roanoke City Sheriff Octavia Johnson. The dual endorsements have caused a tremendous uproar in a race that until today was considered rather quiet.

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Virginia GOP Gubernatorial Candidates in Mad Scramble for Delegates in Wide Open Race

The Republican Party of Virginia announced Friday that the filing deadline had passed for the 2021 Republican Party of Virginia unassembled convention, creating a scramble for the wide open Governor’s race. The unassembled convention is scheduled for Saturday, May 8th, with over 30 polling locations across the Commonwealth of Virginia. According to the Republican Party of Virginia, all but two announced candidates for Governor filed for and paid their filing fee.

The following candidates have properly filed with the Republican Party of Virginia and will appear on the Republican Party of Virginia 2021 Statewide unassembled convention ballot.

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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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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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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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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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Virginia General Assembly Votes to Remove Statue of Former Governor Harry Byrd, Sr.

The Virginia Senate voted 36 to 3 Tuesday to remove the capitol’s statue of former Democratic Governor Harry Byrd, Sr. His legacy is marked by his expansion of Virginia’s economy and roads, and is tarnished by a battle to block desegregating schools. The House of Delegates had already voted in favor of the bill, HB 2208, introduced by Delegate Jay Jones (D-Norfolk.) Governor Ralph Northam is expected to approve the bill.

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