Guest Author Alexander Edwards
Though we’re less than two weeks into February; things are already heating up in the 11th Senate District Primary. The 11th District covers parts of Chesterfield County, all of Amelia County and all of Colonial Heights City. Senator Steve Martin currently holds the seat. Senator Martin has drawn two primary challengers in the form of political activist Amanda Chase and businessman Barry Moore.
In the February 5th edition of the Amelia Bulletin Monitor (local news source in Amelia County), they featured an interview they conducted with challenger Amanda Chase. While the rest of the interview did a very good job describing Chase’s political activism and her family values, one thing caught my attention. At the end of the article is an editor’s note where the paper called Chase out for making a claim that is not factual.
Chase claims that Senator Martin wrote a law that requires the 11th District to nominate its candidates by primary.
The law Chase is referring to is Virginia Code Section 24.2-509, which contains an exception that allows incumbents to determine the method of nomination as opposed to the party’s committee (unless the party has no incumbent). We are currently seeing a battle over this code section playing out in the 24th Senate District over the method of nomination for Senator Emmett Hanger’s re-election. This law has been in place for decades, long before Senator Martin was first elected to the Virginia Legislature, contrary to Chase’s claims.
To make a false public claim that your opponent (and current incumbent) wrote a law specifically to protect his elected position is a dishonest way to campaign. Voters today expect candidates to campaign on the merits of their own ideas for how to right our nation and commonwealth’s course. We also learned through the 7th District Republican Primary that voters are tired of false, personal attacks. It helped now Congressman Dave Brat win the nomination when then Majority Leader Eric Cantor began using the liberal college professor attack line.
Sources familiar with the most recent December meeting of the 11th Senate District Committee confirm that it was the committee, not Senator Martin, chose to use a primary as the method of nomination on a unanimous vote. Those sources also confirm that neither Chase, nor a representative of her campaign, attended the meeting after being notified several times via email of the meeting’s location and time.
Even after being called out by the Amelia Bulletin Monitor for her not factual claim, Chase took to Facebook and doubled down on her claim.
I would recommend that Chase stick to the facts and talk about her plan for our commonwealth. These types of false, personal attacks are exactly what is wrong with today’s political climate and are exactly why the political process turns off many voters. Campaigns should be about voting records of incumbents and about ideas for growth.