Hard-right pastor E.W. Jackson was soundly rejected by Virginia voters when he was the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor in 2013, but that didn’t stop him from weighing in on this year’s race. In February, he endorsed his “good friend” Winsome Sears, the GOP candidate for lieutenant governor of Virginia, who appeared with Jackson in a campaign video released on Facebook. Sears was national chair of the pro-Trump group Black Americans to Re-elect the President.
Jackson has a long record of extremist rhetoric. Earlier this year, he claimed that liberals would love nothing more than to kill Black conservatives but lack the courage to do so. A few weeks earlier, he declared that the Democratic Party is “the party of Satan.” At the Family Research Council’s religious-right activist conference last week, he called homosexuality a “work of the devil.”
In the campaign video, Jackson told Sears, “I am excited about you becoming the next lieutenant governor of Virginia.” He described her as “a person with the convictions that are needed to bring our commonwealth back to the principles that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry and George Mason and James Madison and James Monroe bequeathed to us.”
The Virginia Democratic Party described Winsome a bit differently when she won the GOP endorsement in May, calling her “the most radical far-right Republican in the race” and noting that Sears had been endorsed by far-right state Sen. Amanda Chase.
“Sears’s addition to the GOP ticket pulls the party even further to the right,” the Washington Post reported at the time. The Human Rights Campaign noted that in previous runs for public office, Sears “ran on her staunch opposition to LGBTQ rights, including marriage equality.”
Sears has declined to reveal whether or not she has been vaccinated against COVID-19. Earlier this month, she attended a gala held by the virulently anti-LGBTQ, anti-choice Family Foundation, posing for a photo with Chase and GOP gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin.