Backtracking on her threat to run for governor as an independent, Sen. Amanda Chase, R-Chesterfield, said Friday that she’ll reluctantly participate in a GOP nominating convention even though she preferred a primary.
“I am going to fully seek the Republican nomination,” Chase said in a video streamed on Facebook. “I’m not going to run as an independent.”
Chase raised the prospect of an independent campaign a week ago after the Republican Party of Virginia opted to pick its gubernatorial nominee via a more closely controlled convention rather than an open, state-run primary.
Chase said she still prefers a primary and will push to make the convention as accessible as possible. But she said she understands that running as an independent would all but guarantee Democrats keep control of the Executive Mansion in 2021.
“Conventions are not good for unity,” Chase said. “They’re not good for the people of Virginia.”
Running as a Trump-style firebrand with a heavy emphasis on gun rights, Chase had voiced concerns that that mainstream Republicans would engineer a convention to deny her a chance at the nomination. Some Republicans have openly criticized Chase for her inflammatory comments, including her defense of Confederate statues as a part of “White history.”
Chase is currently competing with former House Speaker Kirk Cox, R-Colonial Heights, for the GOP nomination, but other candidates could enter the race in the coming months.