Virginia’s Amanda Chase Raises the Political Ghost of Russ Potts

Virginia state Sen. Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) advanced her timetable four years and declared her candidacy for the Republican gubernatorial nomination Monday. It’s tempting to dismiss Chase as a vanity candidate, but that would be a mistake.

She poses a big threat in the 2021 gubernatorial race.

To the GOP, that is.

According to The Post’s Laura Vozzella, Chase complained about the “liberal, socialistic agenda that has taken control of the Capitol” and she “can’t take it anymore.”

Not exactly Howard Beale. More along the lines of another Republican who, seeking to redeem a party he believed had left him behind, mounted an independent campaign for governor, just as Chase has promised to do if she’s denied the GOP nomination.

Yes, Chase, you’re a lot like former GOP senator and nearly forgotten gadfly Russ Potts.

For those who can’t remember or have tried to forget Potts, he ran as an “independent Republican” in the 2005 gubernatorial race, inserting himself between GOP nominee Jerry Kilgore and Democratic standard-bearer Tim Kaine.

There were plenty of dark rumors about why Potts decided to run, some more incredible than others.

But Potts told Chris Graham of the Augusta Free Press that he was running against the strident social conservatism and irresponsible anti-tax orthodoxy that had taken over the Virginia GOP.

He wanted to get the GOP “train back in the middle of the track of where you govern. And I believe in my heart that at the end of the day we’re going to have a major influence.”

Not exactly the Chase critique, which seems to suggest Capitol Square is morphing into Red Square, stoppable only with a populist counterrevolution.

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