VA-2 Republican Primary: Election Audits or Election Executions?
Virginia’s redistricting moved me into the 2nd Congressional District, represented by Elaine Luria. The Republicans are in the midst of figuring out who they will choose to run against her, which means they are arguing between someone who agreed to Amanda Chase’s request for $70 million in taxpayer money for a “forensic audit” of the 2020 election and a fellow who called for election workers to be executed (you read that right – executed).
The “establishment” choice is State Senator Jen Kiggans, a largely nondescript legislator whose main claim to fame is being among only 4 Senators willing to support the Chase audit account (WaPo).
Sen. Amanda F. Chase (R-Chesterfield), a self-described “Trump in heels” who has promoted former president Donald Trump’s false election claims, proposed floor amendments intended to boost “election integrity.” Most were shot down with voice votes, but Democrats insisted on a recorded vote for one of her amendments, which sought to devote $70 million to a “full forensic audit” of the 2020 election.
“This amendment is drawn from the darkest corners of the Internet,” Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) said ahead of the vote. “It is a conspiracy-theorist bonanza that I would hope we would defeat.”
Nine Republicans, representing nearly half the Senate’s Republican caucus, ducked off the floor and missed the vote. Chase got support from three fellow Republicans, two of them in party nomination battles for Congress, Bryce Reeves (Spotsylvania) and Jen A. Kiggans (Virginia Beach). The remaining six Republicans voted against, as did every Democrat.
In other words, this was an idea so bonkers that the majority from the self-proclaimed party of Trump voted against it. But not Kiggans; she had rubes to court – and in any other primary, she’d easily have the far right all to herself. In Virginia’s CD2, however, she’s merely moderately crazy.
Outrunning her in the extremist lane in none other than Jarome Bell, best known outside Virginia Beach for demanding the execution of election workers who disagree with his fraud fantasies. I’m not kidding. He’s also decided that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is “fake” and “about being gay.”
… and where there’s homophobia, there’s Bob Good (WaPo).
Good joins Trump allies such as Rep. Paul A. Gosar (R-Ariz.) and ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn — whom Trump pardoned after he was convicted of lying to the FBI — in endorsing Bell, who has built an “America First” platform centered on extreme rhetoric.
So the Republican primary here in Hampton Roads has devolved into a battle between Big Liar 1 and Big Liar 2 – or if you prefer, between an ally of Amanda Chase or an endorsee of Bob Good.