Richmond Judge Tosses Amanda Chase’s Lawsuit

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

February 19, 2021

On Friday, a Richmond Circuit Court judge dismissed State Sen. Amanda Chase’s lawsuit against her own Republican Party.

RICHMOND-It was over in just a few minutes. On Friday, a Richmond Circuit Court judge dismissed State Sen. Amanda Chase’s lawsuit against her own Republican Party. Chase and her attorney Tim Anderson argued that the current Republican plan to hold a convention violates state COVID-18 restrictions.

Even if that were true, Richmond Circuit Court Judge Margaret Spencer said, Chase wouldn’t be the one to enforce those rules. There’s also a question of what exactly she would be enforcing. The Republican Party of Virginia does currently plan to meet May 1 for a statewide convention. However, restrictions could change between now and then.

An organized convention would violate the state’s current COVID-19 restrictions which ban indoor events with more than 25 people. Option two is an unassembled convention, but that has to be approved by the group first.

In an unassembled version, regional polling places are set up across the state. Yet, 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. 

No Ban for Convention

Chase, who’s running for the Republican nomination for governor, filed the lawsuit hoping a judge would ban the organized (or assembled) convention. She believes that in an organized convention, Republican Party leaders will choose who becomes the nominees.

In a statement post to her Twitter feed, Chase said the people lost on Friday.

“Apparently the Richmond Circuit Court is going to hand the noose to the RPV so they can go hang themselves,” Chase wrote. “Sadly, the people of Virginia lost today. The 72 members of the SCC will be choosing our Republican nominees unless than can come together.”

Conventions, however, are pretty much standard Republican practice in Virginia. Since 1969, the party has only used a primary four times in the governor’s races.

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

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