RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Senator Amanda Chase, R-Chesterfield, will be running for governor as an independent.
This comes after Virginia Republicans decided to choose their nominees for statewide office via a convention earlier today.
Before that vote, Chase took to Facebook to say she would run as an independent if Republican party leaders opted for a convention over a primary.
Following the vote, she announced that she is officially going to run as independent.
“My decisions were made in February and were made very public back in February when I said I would seek the Republican nomination in February,” Chase said. “However, if a convention is chosen, I will continue to be a Republican, but I will seek that nomination from the people. This is about the method of nomination, not so much about the party, but the method.”
Chase says on Jan. 1, she will be working to collect more than 50,000 signatures to get her name on the ballot.
Former Speaker of the House Kirk Cox, who is running for governor as part of the Republican Party, released a statement after the GOP vote and Chase’s announcement.
“Amanda Chase’s antics have long grown more than tiresome. Her threat to run as an independent is based solely on the fact that she knows principled, conservative Republicans will never tolerate the demagogue she has become,” Cox said.
Chase, however, said the nomination convention would become a more exclusive process.
“The difference between a convention, is that it usually requires spending an entire day at a location, usually you have about 11 to 12,000 people. It is usually held at the Greater Richmond Convention Center,” Chase said. “So not only do you have the fee that is associated with participating in a convention, it also involves finding childcare for those that work on the weekends. It requires you paying for lodging if you have to spend the night, because most people are having to travel over night.”
The senator said the GOP’s decision came as a surprise, and said many candidates preferred a primary nomination.
“I think today’s result was a surprise for a number of people,” Chase said.
On the Democrat side, state Democrats will hold a primary on June 8. Democrats Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, Sen. Jennifer McClellan, and Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax have all announced they’re running.
Former Governor Terry McAuliffe has filed paperwork to run but has not declared yet.
As a reminder, Gov. Ralph Northam cannot run in 2021 due to the state constitution, which limits governors to non-consecutive four-year terms.
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