Virginia Republicans’ Dream of Quiet Convention Crumbles as Chase Decides to Pursue Nomination

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Get your popcorn ready, this convention is bound to be chaos

In an attempt to deny far-right extremist Amanda Chase the gubernatorial nomination, Virginia Republicans opted for a convention rather than a primary this month. Chase, a fierce supporter of Donald Trump, then unleashed hell on the Virginia GOP, threatening to run as an independent, but later decided to run for the Republican nomination because her independent campaign would have all but guaranteed Democrats the election.

Chase isn’t done playing spoiler yet – there’s still a chance her band of dedicated Trump supporters could win her the nomination. The Washington Post reported, “Conventions, typically day-long events with multiple rounds of voting, are more likely to favor far-right candidates because often, only the most hardcore party activists are willing to travel across the state to participate.”

Virginia conventions have a history of electing extreme, Trump-like candidates. In a major upset to establishment Republicans in 2013, E.W. Jackson, who was seen as more extreme than the other nominees, clinched the lieutenant governor nomination through a convention. Election analysts at the University of Virginia said the convention “unquestionably” won Jackson the primary election. And this past cycle, after officiating a same-sex wedding, former Congressman Denver Riggleman was ousted at a convention in favor of a candidate who was seen as a more loyal supporter of Donald Trump’s politics.

Even if Chase doesn’t manage to clinch the nomination, her presence at the convention will certainly force Kirk Cox into a race to the right to win over her die-hard Trump-like base.

“Amanda Chase isn’t done dragging the Virginia GOP as far to the right as she possibly can,” said DGA Deputy Communications Director Christina Amestoy. “With Chase vowing to run at the Republican convention, Kirk Cox and any other candidate who decides to enter the race will be forced to embrace her far-right views to win over her base. Regardless of who takes the nomination, Chase’s extremist views will be at the forefront of the Virginia GOP’s platform next year.”