On Monday, Virginia State Senator Amanda Chase was booted from the Chesterfield County Republican Party just 36 days before she will appear on the ballot against Democrat Amanda Pohl. On Tuesday, Chase took to the airwaves on the “The John Fredericks Show,” a right-wing radio program, to attack a Republican sheriff and claim that Chesterfield County is a “sanctuary city,” citing a hate group as her information source, Blue Virginia reported.
Radio host John Fredericks deemed the Chesterfield County Republican Party’s decision to kick out Chase “political suicide,” but the decision comes after a series of Trumpian scandals involving the state senator that has led to Republican infighting.
The fiasco that led to Chase being kicked out of the party began in March when she cussed out a Capitol Police officer in an argument over a parking space. According to the police report of the incident obtained by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Chase also called the Senate clerk, who had a prime parking spot, “Miss Piggy.”
In the spring, the Virginia Republican Senate majority leader apologized to the Capitol Police, writing in the letter that Republican members “share your exasperation.” When Chase refused to apologize to the Capitol Police officer she had verbally accosted, Republican Chesterfield County Sheriff Karl Leonard withdrew his support.
Chase has been attacking the sheriff ever since, recently introducing his challenger, Rahn Kersey, a Tea Partier running as an Independent, to people at an event, posting photos of herself with Kersey on Facebook, and claiming that Leonard supported so-called “sanctuary cities” in a Facebook post, which Leonard says is false. When the Chesterfield Republican Party asked that she stop supporting his opponent and “take corrective action,” Chase refused, and her membership in the party was subsequently terminated.
This was not the first controversy for the Republican. In a Facebook comment about why she runs with a gun, Chase used the question to cast blame on rape victims for having been raped, saying, “it’s those who are naive and unprepared that end [up] raped.” And instead of taking responsibility for an ad on her Facebook page that included violent language—“I’m not afraid to shoot down gun groups”—and drew wide condemnation, Chase claimed that the digital media company she hired was at fault.
On “The John Fredericks Show,” Chase said she was kicked out of the Chesterfield Republican Party “because I am not a puppet.”
“They are taking out of context a post that I put on my Facebook page of a former Capitol Police sergeant…,” Chase said. “Rahn Kersey, who is running for sheriff in Chesterfield, endorses me. I post that endorsement on my Facebook page,” she said. “I simply think they were looking for any opportunity they could to get rid of this vocal advocate for the people.”
Chase then doubled down on her “sanctuary city” attacks against Leonard, citing as her source the Center for Immigration Studies which, as Blue Virginia’s lowkell notes, the Southern Poverty Law Center identifies as a hate group. “I am very concerned about sanctuary cities right now, and Chesterfield, according to the Center for Immigration Studies, has identified Chesterfield as a sanctuary city,” Chase said. There are no “sanctuary cities” in Virginia.
“And you know, I’m simply asking questions here. Why is it Chesterfield is being documented as a sanctuary city, which, by the way, means we are a safe haven for criminals who commit crimes, who are not here legally, who are being released onto the streets of Chesterfield,” Chase said. “I’m simply asking the question here, and I’m not getting answers.”
When asked who she would endorse in the sheriff’s race, Chase said she wouldn’t endorse anyone before attacking the sheriff. “One of my frustrations with the sheriff is he never returned my phone calls. He doesn’t want to have a conversation with me,” she said. “He won’t return a phone call of a sitting state senator. And people should ask why. Is it because he doesn’t want to be held accountable? I don’t know what it is.”
But when asked who she is going to vote for, Chase was clear. “I’m going to be voting for Ron Kursey, because he votes Republican. He is a Tea Party conservative,” she said. “Karl Leonard was the first one to come out of the gate to say I’m not supportive of Amanda Chase.”
The state senator is an ardent supporter of President Donald Trump. With 53 percent of Virginia voters disapproving of Trump’s performance and only 27 percent approving, Virginia Republicans are facing an uphill battle and some are working to distance themselves from Trump. “You have been an unabashed, 100 percent advocate and supporter of President Trump,” Fredericks told Chase. “Everyone else around here is running away from the president, from his policies.”