GOP’s Youngkin stays away from ‘Take Back Virginia’ rally

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GOP gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin on Wednesday stayed away from a rally that included Republicans who spread lies about election fraud, although political allies were attending and former President Donald Trump was a Youngkin supporter, calling for a call. was expected.

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Conservative radio host John Fredericks, the former president of the Trump campaign in Virginia, organized a “Take Back Virginia rally,” which attracted at least a few hundred people in the Richmond suburbs to fire the GOP’s right wing in the November 2 election. did. .

Among the speakers were or were expected to be: Winsome Sears, a Republican running for lieutenant governor against Democrat Del Hala Ayala; Steve Bannon, a former Trump White House adviser; Arizona Representative Mark Finchem, who has worked to reverse Trump’s 2020 loss; and Virginia State Sen. Amanda Chase, a prominent promoter of electoral fraud conspiracy theories.


Youngkin and Democrat Terry McAuliffe are in a tight race in Democratic-leaning Virginia. Republicans have focused their pitch on liberal and independent voters who are critical to their success. That means treading carefully when addressing lies about fraud being promoted by Trump and others in his party.

Youngkin, who declined to say in his primary campaign whether Biden was elected fairly, has said he believes he was — and does not believe there was significant fraud last November. Was.

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Youngkin’s campaign did not respond to questions from The Associated Press on Wednesday about whether Youngkin expected Trump to campaign with him in the final stages or whether he chose not to attend Wednesday’s event, in addition to the candidate’s busy visit on Wednesday. Program indicated.

Earlier in the week, Youngkin called on Fredericks’ show and thanked him for hosting the show.

“We’re going to win it,” Fredericks said. “We’re gonna hold the Trump coalition together while Youngkin goes out there and appeals to the independents.”

Sears, a Marine veteran, made her debut in elected office in 2001, when she stunned both sides by defeating a longtime incumbent in a very blue district and became the first black Republican woman elected to the House of Delegates. Went.

He served just one term before deciding not to seek re-election. Most recently, she served as the national president of an organization dedicated to re-electing Trump, and won Chase’s endorsement in the nomination contest.

Democrats condemned the incident and called on Youngkin to focus on Sears’ involvement.

“Such rhetoric is dangerous and life-threatening, and Virginia deserves better than Steve Bannon and Glenn Youngkin,” Democratic Party of Virginia communications director Jesse Janko said in a statement before the event.

He has also criticized Youngkin’s continued desire to campaign with Chase. The state senator from suburban Richmond also sought the nomination for governor this year and regularly shared misinformation about the security of Virginia’s elections. Chase, who was condemned by the Senate on a bipartisan basis earlier this year, called for an “audit” of the 2020 election in Virginia and said in December that Trump should enforce martial law to confiscate voting machines .

Trump heavily lost Virginia to Democrat Joe Biden last year — a routine state audit confirmed the results — and there was no election stealing from Trump.

Trump’s former attorney general, William Barr, found no evidence of widespread electoral corruption. Allegations of mass voting fraud were also dismissed by multiple judges and dismissed by state election officials and a branch of the Department of Homeland Security during the Trump administration.

The Youngkin campaign today sought to draw a comparison between false claims of fraud and the 2000 presidential election, when a Supreme Court ruling decided the winner and McAuliffe destroyed the decision, saying the election had been plagiarized.

Other Republican candidates declined to participate in Wednesday’s event.

A preliminary advisory said GOP nominee Jason Miares for attorney general would participate. But her spokeswoman Victoria Lakivita said over the phone that it was “a mistake, a miscommunication.”

He said the candidate’s schedule was full, with arguments against Attorney General Mark Herring earlier in the day and evening schedules elsewhere.

Del Terry Kilgore and Sen. Bill Stanley were advertised as being present at various points, but were not on the final speakers list.

No other Virginia candidates were scheduled to speak besides Sears, according to a list provided to the AP.


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