Chase Says She’ll Run as Republican, Agrees to Support Convention

Virginia State Sen. Amanda Chase, R-Chesterfield, listens to debate during the Senate session at the Capitol Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, in Richmond, Va. The Sense passes several gun related measures. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

By Brian Carlton
December 12, 2020

State senator changes her mind after rejecting the Republican plan for a convention last week.

RICHMOND-Amanda Chase changed her mind on Friday. The Virginia state senator announced on Facebook Live she will not run for governor as an independent after all. Instead, one week after rejecting the Republican plan to choose a candidate by convention rather than primary, Chase accepted the idea. 

“I’ve been listening to the people for the past week and they want me to run as a Republican,” Chase said. “I am going to fully seek the Republican nomination. I’m not gonna run as an independent. Why is that? There is a very slim to zero path to victory for anyone that would run as an independent.” 

Now, this is a big shift. Why? One week ago, she declared it a victory to launch an independent campaign. She said at the time she wouldn’t run in a convention. 

“I promised to run only in a primary, so that all Virginia voters could be heard!,” Chase said on December 8. “Members of GOP Establishment and Elite knew my stance for months. So they voted for secrecy instead of transparency.”

Move forward to Dec. 11 and there was a very different tone on display. Chase said while she still doesn’t like conventions, she’ll agree to compete for votes in one. 

“I’ve spoken to Chairman Rich Anderson today and probably every day for the past week,” Chase said in the Facebook Live video. “I’ve told him about my concerns. The way this convention is going to be set up, it’s going to be an unassembled convention. So it’s a little bit different.”

What’s The Difference? 

Republicans used the same unassembled convention to choose Anderson as their state party chairman earlier this year. In a regular convention, delegates gather in one location. In an unassembled version, regional polling places are set up across the state. However, just like in the regular version, only certified delegates can vote. These delegates are selected by each local party and then have to pay convention dues, typically $35, in order to vote. 

“Under a disassembled convention, it’s going to allow everyone to vote closer to home,” Chase said. “You don’t have to travel miles and miles, which was one of my concerns.”  

Chase also said she opposed any type of fees. She thought it was wrong to pay to vote. Instead, she wants to find sponsors who could possibly cover the cost of the convention.

But the big issue was the reversal on conventions. Chase said she still believed a primary was the best option, as otherwise Republicans might get confused.

“In June, the Democrats are going to go to their regular polling location and we have many Republicans who are gonna get confused,” Chase said. She believed it would offend regular party members to learn they all don’t get to vote for the nominee.

“Republicans need to be more inclusive and create processes that are easy for the average Republican to support and select their nominee,” Chase said. “They want the opportunity to participate in that process.”

Who Else is Running?

Now in addition to Chase and her fellow Republican Kirk Cox, four Democrats have entered the race. Governor Ralph Northam can’t run for re-election, as the Virginia Constitution prevents governors from serving consecutive terms. Current Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, state Sen. Jennifer McClellan and Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy have all entered the race for the Democratic nomination. Former Governor Terry McAuliffe joined them earlier this week.

Brian Carlton is Dogwood’s managing editor. You can reach him at [email protected].

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