Senator Amanda Chase (R) was the guest speaker at the Colonial Heights Republican Committee meeting Monday night. Her district encompasses the southern parts of Chesterfield and all of Colonial Heights. Chase started by giving a shout out to Speaker of the House Kirk Cox, referring to him as the “next Governor”. Cox also represents Colonial Heights on the House side and he was sitting in the back of the room.
The conversation quickly turned to the executive scandal. She has held back from making public demands in regards to embattled Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax. “He wants the truth to come out” said Chase of the scandal. She called for a “quick and thorough investigation”, noting that the legislators “showed a lot of discipline being able to stay focused” during this session.
“I’ve never seen that many national media people in the Capitol as we had this session.” said Chase as she compared the media to rhinos in the zoo stampeding through the halls. She told the crowd of close to 20 that although people are telling her that she needs to “get out there and yell”, she has to stay quiet on the chance that impeachment happens. “I can’t, that’s not my role in the senate,” she said.
The impeachment process would theoretically begin with the House of Delegates voting to proceed to an impeachment trial. The senate would then sit for the trial and vote to convict or not.
An audience member told the senator that he doesn’t believe that Justin Fairfax should be impeached, saying it would be a lose/lose for Republicans. He said the Democrats would spin it against them either way. “I get to know everybody in the senate, including the Lt. Governor.” said Chase. “I believe personally that we give everybody due process.” She later noted that she has become friends with Fairfax while serving with him in the senate.
The conversation then moved on to talk about the tax relief package passed by the General Assembly. Chase called upon Cox in the crowd for the numbers in the package.“$975 million” said Cox. Chase laughed and quipped, “I knew you would know.”
The senator pointed out that passing tax relief right before the election cycle would remind people to vote Republican.
Chase has been the focus of a lot of ERA activists this year. “I am the only female senator who spoke in opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment.” She is referencing her speech before the full senate chamber on the day of the ERA vote: “Many are convinced that if Virginia passes this Equal Right Amendment, women will no longer be victimized. Yet the bill itself actually victimizes the very women it claims to protect. It assumes that women will blindly trust and will not read the fine print. Well I’ve read the fine print; and I’m offended.”
The Equal Rights Amendment still passed in the senate, but it was laid to rest in the house.
Chase said that Del. Ransone and her committee successfully “diffused that bomb” in the house. “Thank god for the house. The house did a great job diffusing that Equal Rights Amendment.”
Senator Chase has received national attention for wearing a gun on the senate floor. “I’m known as Chesterfield’s .38 Special.”she said. Chase has always been a strong advocate for the second amendment. She says she carries at the General Assembly for protection, saying she had “two amazon women who approached” her. She told crown on Monday night that those two women backed off after seeing her gun.
Now that the session is over, everyone’s focus turns to November with all 140 legislative seats up for election. A member of the committee told Chase that she has to figure out how to get the millennial’s vote. The committee member pointed to Dave Brat’s campaign tactics saying Abigail Spanberger out worked him in this area, specifically saying “Spandangler crucified him”.
This led to Chase introducing her campaign manager to the crowd, Philip Search.
Two Democrats have declared to run against her, Amanda Pohl and Wayne Powell. Chase lives in a typically reliable conservative district, but politics in Virginia continue to trend blue. Tim Kaine (D) won Chase’s district in the 2018 Senate race over a controversial Republican candidate in Corey Stewart.
When pushed again on how she we will get the millennial vote, Chase said, “We’re not going to share with a tracker in the room.”