Photos: Crowds gather for a candlelight vigil outside of Dave Brat’s office

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by Brandon Jarvis

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Tonight, organizers from, Together We Will Henrico, and VA 7th USA,  held a candlelight vigil outside of Dave Brat’s office in Henrico. Police blocked the entrances to the parking lots around the Congressman’s office. Protestors stood in a grassy-area between the road and parking lot.

Multiple attendees spoke with a mic expressing their reasons for wanting to vote Brat out of office in November.

Melissa McKenney, told Richmond 2day that 81 constituents attended the vigil.

81 7th District constituents attended this evening’s vigil for Dave Brat’s conscience. Tongue-in-cheek, we used a Turn-o-Matic Take-a-Number display to keep count after his response to the media’s crowd estimates of the last demonstration.”

The organizers advertised the event on Facebook:

From attacks on the rule of law to conflicts of interest, ethics violations, and flagrant abuse of government offices for personal gain, the corruption of the American government by the President, his associates, and many in his party has reached a profound low. Officials are trading on the power invested in our institutions for personal and financial gain rather than for the welfare of the American people.

Representative Brat is among the worst offenders. He has attacked the Russia investigation, belittled the free press, and supports xenophobic rhetoric and policies, such as the Muslim Ban, border wall, and hyperbolic “chain migration.” Further, he supports a Constitutional Convention to reshape the United States for conservative gain, supported white supremacist Richard Spencer’s right to hate speech, and even hired people to troll his own constituents on social media. There seems to be no moral bottom in his attempt to hold ground with ultra conservative and even alt right members of the Republican Party.”

Brat is facing Abigail Spanberger (D) in November. Brat is the Republican incumbent that primaried the Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor in 2014. Brat embraced the Tea Party movement of the time that was a major part of the Hanover area. That Hanover area was removed from the 7th district in redistricting in after the 2014 elections.

Spanberger handily beat a primary candidate in Dan Ward that was well-funded and well-respected in the Democratic party. Spanberger has raised $903,000 to Brat’s $913,000. The DCCC put Spanberger on their list of top tier Democratic candidates heading into the 2018 mid-terms.

Yesterday, Brat released a statement placing blame on Obama for all of the Russian issues.

“The United States should stand unequivocally opposed to a foreign government meddling in our elections in any form or fashion. Unfortunately, for eight years the Obama Administration operated as if Russia was not a major geopolitical threat. Their foreign policy failures emboldened Putin to take aggressive actions around the World and set the stage for where we are today. While we must maintain open diplomatic relations, we should continue to take a tough stance toward Russia and work against their destabilizing actions.”

Spanberger responded:

“Congressman Brat has chosen not to call out Russia for their cyber warfare, and he has chosen instead to mislead voters about our nation’s longtime understanding of the threat posed by Russia. As a former CIA officer, I know firsthand the threat Russia has and continues to pose to our national security, and elected leaders and presidents from both parties have long known and treated Russia as a hostile adversary – until now. Congressman Brat may not be privy to all the national security assessments related to Russia and President Vladimir Putin, but that’s not an excuse for playing politics while our country’s elections were attacked and our democracy is threatened.”

Demonstrations like this took place across the country. The photos below were taken by Lee Harris in front of the White House.


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