The Republican frontrunner in the party’s nominating contest for Governor of Virginia has surrounded herself with armed volunteers and extremists intent on overturning democracy for nearly eighteen months. Amanda Chase, who was famously forced to sit in a plexiglass box in the VA State Senate when she refused to follow mask mandates. joined a Second Amendment rally in Richmond that drew thousands of people wielding high-powered rifles in January 2020, and it was there she met members of the domestic terrorist group the Proud Boys.
Chase has rejected the labels “extremist” and “insurrectionist,” but she hasn’t shied away from the far-right groups implicated in the storming of the Capitol. And she has made a rousing account of her own effort to disrupt the electoral certification for President Biden into a centerpiece of her campaign stump speech. Like her hero, Donald Trump, Chase is building her profile by attacking the leadership of her own party in her quest for power in blue-trending Virginia.
But Chase’s appearance with a handful of Proud Boys disputes that. As Chase spoke, standing nearby was national chairman Enrique Tarrio, who was clad in a bullet-proof vest. Chase vowed to launch a recall against Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, charging that “he has violated the very oath that he swore to uphold.”
Also with Chase that day: Joshua Macias, the co-founder of a group called Vets for Trump. Macias also appeared with Chase when the state senator announced her candidacy for governor on the steps of the Virginia State Capitol a month later. Also standing beside Chase was a man named Antonio LaMotta, who would later be arrested on weapons charges with Macias when they traveled in a Hummer with QAnon stickers to the Philadelphia Convention Center where votes were being tabulated days after the November election.
Amanda Chase is a racist. She has no place in the State House of the Commonwealth and she will never darken the doorway of the Governor's Mansion. https://t.co/fDghmXOMhd
— Fred Wellman (@FPWellman) April 21, 2021
This isn’t the only controversy concerning Chase; she also spoke out against the verdict in the Derek Chauvin murder trial, taking the right’s side instead of the actual right side of the issue. And she’s been a staunch mouthpiece for the former guy, including pushing The Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen.
After justice was served and Derek Chauvin was rightly found guilty of murdering George Floyd, Amanda Chase said "the verdict today makes me sick."
Will any Virginia Republican condemn this despicable racism? pic.twitter.com/4U2OCGgktt
— Virginia Democrats (@vademocrats) April 21, 2021
Chase is one of seven Republicans vying for the gubernatorial nomination. The party opted to hold a convention, scheduled for May 8, instead of a primary, a decision that Chase says was made to “prevent her from securing the nomination”.
Watch Amanda Chase and her Proud Boy pals, below.