RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – Democrats hope to tie Virginia Republicans to the ongoing GOP fight over who will be the next House speaker.
The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, the national party committee charged with helping Democrats in state legislative races, announced a new $200,000 investment Monday to support Virginia House Democrats in the state’s 2023 elections, when control of the General Assembly will be decided.
The DLCC’s investment, first shared with NBC News, aims to link the infighting among Republicans in Congress to how those in the Virginia General Assembly will operate. It comes after the DLCC committed more than $2 million for the Nov. 7 elections.
“Republican dysfunction has become a hallmark of national politics. Their refusal to do the basic requirements of government, including choosing a Speaker, shows us that this is all a game to them and they don’t care about the people they were elected to represent,” DLCC spokesperson Abhi Rahman said in a statement. “If national Republicans continue to show they won’t govern, why would Virginia Republicans be any different?”
House Republicans picked Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) as Speaker-designate after the historic ouster of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), which came after Democrats and a group of Republicans voted him out.
Democrats have been critical of Republicans, especially hardliners who pushed for McCarthy’s ouster, blaming them for keeping the House of Representatives from doing its legislative work, including voting on key spending measures as the government is expected to run out of money after Nov. 17.
A spokesperson for Virginia House Republicans fired back at the DLCC’s investment Monday, pointing to the differences between the state’s Speaker vote and the one in Congress.
“Republicans are already governing in Virginia,” Garren Shipley, a spokesperson for Virginia House Speaker Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah), said in a statement Monday. “We have a Republican Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General. We have a Republican House of Delegates. We elected our Speaker unanimously on the first ballot, whose nomination was seconded by a Democrat.”
“We’ve passed tax cuts, record funding for schools, and put parents back in charge of their children’s education. And the Republican Governor is popular in every part of the state,” Shipley added.
In September, through the Legislative Majority PAC, the DLCC contributed $850,000 to the Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus and $700,000 to the Virginia House Democratic Caucus, bringing the DLCC’s total donations to the political party committees this year to over $2 million.
The Speaker vote will be held Tuesday at noon, according to Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), the House Democratic whip.
All 140 Virginia General Assembly seats are on the ballot in the Nov. 7 elections, but some candidates are running unopposed. Early voting in Virginia started Sept. 22.