RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — State Sen. Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) announced her plans Monday to run for governor next year on the steps in front of the state Capitol, becoming the first Republican to officially enter the race.

During her speech in front of a crowd of supporters and media members, Chase lashed out against the new Democratic-controlled state legislature and the “growing wave of liberal ideas, socialism and the destruction of American freedom and rights, growing like a virus across our great nation and throughout Virginia.”

“Virginians deserve better,” Chase said Monday. “Virginians deserve better than the liberal socialistic agenda that has taken hold of the Virginia Capitol.”

Chase, who is known for her conservative views and support for gun-rights, called out Democrats’ efforts to pass gun-control measures and a bill that could permit undocumented immigrants from getting driver’s licenses.

“The new majority advocates for illegals at the expense of the safety of our citizens,” Chase continued. “Advocates for criminals over law-abiding citizens and is determined to create a nanny-state that takes away the choice of the people because the new majority is convinced, government knows better than the people.”

Chase has been a polarizing figure in Virginia politics since joining the Senate in 2016, even bumping heads with members of her own party. Two months after being kicked out of Chesterfield County GOP, Chase decided not to caucus with Republicans for this year’s session due to a leadership dispute.

With Gov. Ralph Northam (D) unable to seek back-to-back terms, other Virginia Democrats have already announced their bids for governor, including Attorney General Mark Herring and Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax.

This story is developing. Stay with 8News for updates.