Republican gubernatorial candidate Amanda Chase questioned whether one of her Democratic opponents is for “ALL Virginians” on Thursday, immediately after noting that state Sen. Jennifer McClellan is vice chairwoman of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus.
“If you thought Ralph Northam was bad wait to you see the McClellan agenda,” the GOP state senator wrote on Facebook. “She serves as vice-chair of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus. One thing you can be sure of ― she is NOT for ALL Virginians.”
Chase also said she was “sick and tired of ALL of the identity politics” and lamented that the governor’s race was “shaping up to be ALL about who will be the best female for Governor.”
Chase deleted her post, but the site Blue Virginia captured a screenshot.
The post went up the same day that McClellan jumped into the 2021 governor’s race. So far, her competition for the Democratic nomination is state Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, who is also Black. More candidates are expected to join the field, with the biggest question over whether former Gov. Terry McAuliffe ― who remains popular ― will run.
Chase is the only declared Republican candidate so far. She’s a strong supporter of President Donald Trump and has decried “the liberal, socialistic agenda that has taken control of the Capitol.” She has also said that people who are “naive and unprepared” end up raped, and said that the push to take down Confederate monuments is “destroying WHITE HISTORY.”
Although Chase deleted her post, she reiterated the sentiments in a statement to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
“As the Vice-Chair of the Virginia Black Legislative Caucus, Jennifer McClellan is championing the destruction of our historical monuments and encouraging the violence of our beloved city,” Chase said. “She along with our cowardly Mayor [Levar] Stoney and spineless governor are placating to a movement of divisiveness and hate instead of unity and peace.”
In a tweet on Friday, McClellan responded to Chase’s remarks without naming the state senator.
“What unites Virginia is stronger than what divides us,” she wrote. “As a Senator, and as a member of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, I’ve worked to deliver progress for all Virginians. As Governor, I will make sure everyone’s voice is heard, as we build a better future.”
McClellan has been an advocate for taking down Confederate monuments, recently expressing support for Gov. Ralph Northam’s (D) decision to take down a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Richmond.
“You have to have an honest conversation about that and what those monuments symbolize, but what they also do is trigger 400 years of trauma for Black communities,” she said in an interview with HuffPost, adding, “The localities where they are need to decide if they want to take them down. They should be able to take them down, or we at the commonwealth level should do so as well.”