RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – A Republican Virginia House candidate says his support for Princess Blanding’s protest over not being included in a gubernatorial debate led to an alleged dispute with Glenn Youngkin’s campaign and a subsequent civil lawsuit over missing campaign materials.
Philip Hamilton, who seeks to unseat Del. Sally Hudson (D-Charlottesville) this November, alleges a Youngkin campaign staffer told him he was no longer allowed in the GOP nominee’s Charlottesville campaign office and the campaign materials he was storing inside were removed after he expressed support for Blanding’s push to be involved in the debate.
While Hamilton said his name wasn’t on the lease, he claims he had a verbal agreement with Youngkin’s campaign that he could keep the materials, which Hamilton said included yard signs, bumper stickers and other campaign literature, in the office. Hamilton alleged the materials were removed without his consent and never returned, filing a civil lawsuit on Oct. 15 against Youngkin’s campaign and the staffer, Sam Long, seeking $2,500 plus 6% interest.
“When I asked where my materials were, he [Long] told me they were no longer in the office because of me supporting a third-party candidate,” Hamilton said Tuesday.
Blanding, running under the Liberation Party in Virginia’s governor’s race, interrupted the final gubernatorial debate after she was invited to sit in the audience but not participate. The next day, Hamilton called out Youngkin and Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe “for not taking a stand for democracy” when Blanding was escorted out of the venue.
“I didn’t support a third-party candidate. I don’t agree with many of her [Blanding] policies, but she deserved to be on the stage and I spoke out on McAuliffe and Youngkin for staying silent.”
Hamilton told 8News that nobody on Youngkin’s staff admitted to getting rid of his campaign materials but he believes they were thrown away. He claimed that Long wouldn’t share details about their whereabouts and that another staffer said the materials were given to volunteers but wouldn’t say which ones.
When reached on the phone Tuesday, Long said he couldn’t speak about the case and referred 8News to a Youngkin spokesperson who declined to comment.
The GOP House candidate has used social media to press Long and the Youngkin gubernatorial campaign on the matter, writing in a Facebook post from Oct. 4 that he reported the removal of his campaign materials to the local police.
Hamilton, who was on the steps of the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection, is facing off against Del. Hudson in the Nov. 2 election. Hudson, an economist and assistant professor at the University of Virginia, has raised $155,000 this election cycle, compared to Hamilton’s $9,605, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.
The initial hearing for Hamilton’s lawsuit, which was filed in Albemarle General District Court, will be on Jan. 19, 2022.