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Senator Chase Intensifies Attacks on Fellow Republicans

Sen. Amanda Chase at a press conference earlier this year.
Sen. Amanda Chase at a press conference earlier this year. (Photo: Craig Carper/VPM News)

Sen. Amanda Chase (R-Midlothian) doubled down on attacks against her fellow Republicans after she was expelled from a local party chapter on Monday, calling the state party “bankrupt” and appearing to liken colleagues to cockroaches.

Chase was kicked out of the Chesterfield GOP after she attacked Karl Leonard, the county’s Republican sheriff, and seemed to support his independent rival in the November 5 elections.

Chase has been dogged by a litany of controversies for the last six months. She called rape victims “naive,” shouted down a Capitol Police officer over access to parking, ordered over 20 rides from Capitol Police officers in defiance of Senate rules, and ran a Facebook ad threatening to “shoot down” gun groups

In an interview with VPM on Tuesday, the Tea Party conservative questioned the timing of the Chesterfield County Republicans’ decision.

“Why on God's green earth, 35 days before election day, would you pull the rug out from your own Republican candidate?” Chase asked.

Chase still will appear as a Republican candidate on the ballot against Democrat Amanda Pohl. But the scandals have put her at odds with members of her own caucus; one GOP senator told the Washington Post that the caucus “all pays a price” for Chase’s actions.

In response, Chase said that some GOP colleagues in the General Assembly are Republicans in name only.

“And they don't like me because I call a spade a spade and I expose their shenanigans and their backroom deals,” she said.

Chase is a founding member of the transparency caucus, which led a successful push to stream committee meetings. She said the caucus has helped shed a light on bad actors.

“And you know what do cockroaches do when you turn the lights on?” Chase asked. “They run.”

When asked if she was likening her colleagues to cockroaches, the senator said that was not the case.

“I'd say in general that no, I would never call a person a cockroach,” Chase said. “It's an example of when you shed light on a dark situation, it's going to flee.”

Chase says the Republican Party of Virginia (RPVA) is struggling because in didn't properly vet candidates “to make sure that they're going to uphold the Republican creed.”

“They're bankrupt,” she said. “They don't have any money. They have very little organization in place.”

The RPVA had about $60,000 in cash on hand in the reporting period that ended August 31 at their federal account and less than $2,000 left in their state accounts in the period ending June 30. The RPVA took out a $50,000 loan in May.

RPVA chairman Jack Wilson said the party had field staff deployed across the state and coordinated with Chase's campaign on mailers sent within the last week.  Wilson said candidates were selected by the grassroots of the party.  

“I hope Senator Chase realizes she her opponent is an ultra-liberal progressive Democrat, not the Republican Party of Virginia,” Wilson said in an email. “The Party will continue to work to re-elect Senator Chase to 11th Senate district, in spite of her efforts to the contrary.”

A spokesmen for Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment did not respond to a request for comment.