RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Four of the five Democrats vying to be Virginia’s next governor released a joint statement Thursday condemning GOP candidates in the race for aligning themselves with former President Donald Trump during their campaigns.
The statement, signed by Del. Lee Carter (D-Manassas), former delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy, Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) and former Va. Gov. Terry McAuliffe, cites comments and campaign initiatives from Republican candidates.
“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,” the statement began.
Remarks that Sen. Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) made about Sen. McClellan during a campaign event on March 15 was among one of the issues mentioned in the statement. “I support equal rights not special rights. You know, Sen. McClellan, she is the vice chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus. … And I said she will not be a governor that supports everyone,” Chase said at the event.
McClellan said the comments from Chase were bigoted and racist, a view echoed in the joint statement Thursday, which called it a “racist tirade against Sen. McClellan and the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus.” Chase, who has referred to herself as “Trump in heels,” stood by her remarks.
The joint statement also called out a voter integrity plan from Glenn Youngkin’s campaign and a news report that Pete Snyder’s charity shrouded information about the money it raised.
“Republicans and Democrats have both raised concerns about the integrity of our elections in recent years, and Glenn is proposing real solutions to restore faith in the process and ensure every legal vote is counted quickly and accurately,” Youngkin campaign spokesperson Macaulay Porter said in a statement Thursday. “If the liberals in Richmond were as focused on election integrity as they were scoring political points and playing partisan games we could actually get something accomplished for a change.”
“As Democrats, we may have our differences, but we are united against allowing any of these Trump acolytes near the governorship,” the statement concluded.
Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax was the only Democratic candidate to not sign the joint statement.
“Shocking these left-wing Democrats found time to parrot talking points but can’t find a second to stand up to teachers unions and special interests groups to open our schools and our economy,” Lenze Morris, the spokesperson for Snyder’s campaign, wrote in an email Friday. “Their radical agenda for our state will continue down the road of failure paved by Northam and McAuliffe.”
Voters will select the Democratic nominee in a statewide primary on June 8. The Virginia GOP has decided on a May 8 convention utilizing multiple remote locations across the commonwealth.