VA lawmaker who called for 'martial law' to steal election will run for Congress

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State Sen. Amanda Chase announced her campaign to challenge Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) on Wednesday.

On Wednesday morning, Virginia state Sen. Amanda Chase announced her campaign for the state's 7th Congressional District. The district is currently represented by Democrat Abigail Spanberger, who beat incumbent Republican Dave Brat in 2018 to become the first Democrat elected to represent the district in more than 40 years.

Chase, who once called herself "Trump in heels," told the Washington Post Wednesday that her campaign will mirror that of Republican Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin, with a focus on the idea that "critical race theory" is being taught in Virginia schools and on ending vaccine and mask mandates.

Chase has denied the existence of racism — except for "reverse racism" — because she had personally "never seen systemic racism or any of that."

Earlier this year, Chase earned bipartisan condemnation for supporting rioters at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in an insurrection that left five people dead and hundreds injured.

Chase has promoted former President Donald Trump's baseless claims that the 2020 presidential election was "stolen" from him. She once said Trump should impose "martial law" to prevent President Joe Biden from assuming office.

Chase herself spoke at the Jan. 6 "Stop the Steal" rally that directly preceded the storming of the Capitol building. She also used campaign funds to attend the rally, and later called the insurrectionists "patriots who love their country."

"The insurrection is actually the deep state with the politicians working against the people to overthrow our government," Chase told the New York Times in January.

In response to her comments, the Virginia Senate voted 37-1 — with Chase the only nay vote — to strip Chase of her committee appointments.

The chamber then voted to censure Chase for "conduct unbecoming of a Senator" and noted her "pattern of unacceptable conduct," including a profane rant at a Virginia Capitol Police officer who told her she couldn't park in a restricted area and a social media comment calling sexual assault victims "naive and unprepared."

After her censure, Chase ran in the Republican primary for Virginia governor and lost, placing third with 25% of the vote. Chase then endorsed Republican Glenn Youngkin and became a surrogate for Youngkin on the campaign trail, and made the baseless claim that Democrats in Virginia were preparing to steal the election, which Youngkin won.

Chase joins an already crowded field of Republicans jockeying to challenge Spanberger next November. They include state Sen. Bryce Reeves; Taylor Keeny, former press secretary to Gov. Bob McDonnell; state Del. John McGuire; military veterans John Castorani, who ran unsuccessfully for Congress in Alabama in 2020, and Derrick Anderson; Tina Ramirez, a "religious freedom advocate" and former high school teacher; and Gary Barve, who moved to Virginia after running a failed city council campaign in Santa Clara, California.

The race will likely be close. Virginia's 7th Congressional District swung 7.5 points to the right between 2017 and 2021, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.

The Republican congressional primary is scheduled for June 21, 2022.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.