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Statewide Candidates React to Saturday’s Events in Charlotteville

Robert E Lee statue Emancipation Park CharlottesvilleEven as Governor Terry McAuliffe was in Charlotteville telling the neo-Nazis and white supremacists [1] to “go home. You are not wanted in this great Commonwealth,” former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke and alt-right cult leader Richard Spencer [2] promised (threatened?) to come back.

All of the candidates for statewide office offered reactions and thoughts to the events in Charlottesville on Friday and Saturday, which included a torchlight rally on UVA Grounds that looked like a student-film project version of Triumph of the Will [3] (or Nelson Eddy singing and a male chorus singing “Stout Hearted Men [4]”) on Friday and an aborted rally in Lee/Emancipation Park that ended in one death, multiple injuries and at least three arrests [5].

Considering their different political parties, campaign platforms, and personal histories, the reactions by the candidates for Virginia Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General were remarkably similar: pray for the victims, condemning the racists, Virginia is better than this.

Ed Gillespie, Republican candidate for Governor, on Twitter [6]:

“Having a right to spew vile hate does not make it right. It is painful to see these ugly events in Charlottesville last night and today. These displays have no place in our Commonwealth, and the mentality on display is rejected by the decent, thoughtful and compassionate fellow Virginians I see every day. I know we all appreciate the law enforcement officials maintaining order and protecting public safety there.”

He later added [7] with regard to the terrorist-attack-by-car on 4th and Main Streets: “Definitely tragic effect of vile neo Nazi and white supremacist actions.”

Cliff Hyra, Libertarian candidate for Governor, on Facebook [8]:

“Horrific and tragic events in Charlottesville today. White nationalists and neo-nazis threaten the liberty of us all, and as Virginians we must stand united against them. My heart goes out to the victims of the brutal terrorist attack and their families. I wish a swift and full recovery to those hospitalized, and offer my deepest condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their lives.

“It is shocking and unbelievable to me that a political disagreement over statues could serve as an excuse for violent combat and heinous murder. I am heartbroken today, and also fearful for the future of our country and our commonwealth. We must act now to root out and extirpate all support for political violence. Peaceful discussion and political action are the only way forward.”

Ralph Northam, Democratic candidate for Governor, on Twitter [9]: “As the disgusting display by white supremacists we’re seeing in Charlottesville turns more violent: Please, stay safe and stay clear.”

About an hour later, he Tweeted [10]: “I’ve been briefed by @VaPSHS and am in contact with @GovernorVA and @MikeSigner. The display of hate in Charlottesville has no place in VA.”

At 6:30 p.m., he added [11]: “.@TerryMcAuliffe and @MikeSigner are right—there’s no place in our commonwealth for hate and white supremacy. It’s on all of us to prove it.”

Justin Fairfax, Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor, on Twitter [12]: “I am saddened by the scenes of violence and demonstrations of hatred in one of Virginia’s greatest cities. We can…”

Jill Vogel, Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor, on Twitter [13]: “I am horrified by the hate being displayed in Charlottesville. It is not the Virginia that I know and love and I condemn this vile display of racism.”

John Adams, Republican candidate for Attorney General, on Facebook [14]: “The Nazi-ideology on display in Charlottesville is disgusting. Our greatest generation fought and crushed it; so will we.”

Mark Herring, Democratic candidate for Attorney General, on Twitter [15]: “The violence, chaos, and apparent loss of life in Charlottesville is not the fault of ‘many sides.’ It is racists and white supremacists.”