RICHMOND, Va. – With nationwide threats of violence at state capitals in the days ahead, Richmond is on alert and state lawmakers are sending a message.
“I’m really ticked off about it, that the way to try and get what you want is to act in violence,” said Del. Chris Hurst, a Democrat who represents Virginia’s 12th District, which covers Giles County and Radford, as well as parts of Montgomery and Pulaski counties.
“What happened at the U.S. Capitol was despicable. What happened in downtown Richmond and other cities where they tore apart and rampaged the city over the summer was despicable,” said Sen. Steve Newman, a Republican who represents Virginia’s 23rd District, which contains Botetourt and Craig counties, as well as parts of Campbell County, Bedford County, Roanoke County and Lynchburg.
10 News spoke with local lawmakers about the possible protests. Republicans and Democrats have differing messages but agree on taking all threats seriously, condemning violence and assuring law enforcement is prepared.
“People are upset. We’re going to be working on a lot of election laws to make sure that people get some confidence back in their right to vote and that everything is counted fairly,” said Del. Kathy Byron, a Republican who represents Virginia’s 22nd District, which covers parts of Bedford, Campbell and Franklin counties, as well as part of Lynchburg.
“We love being in public service and we’re going to make sure that nothing deters us from that,” said Del. Sam Rasoul, a Democrat who represents Virginia’s 11th District, which covers part of Roanoke.
“If individuals would like to come to Richmond, I encourage them to do that. This is still democracy and we still need public input,” Newman said.
“We will make sure that anybody who tries to incite fear or tries to bring about violence is not going to be welcome at Capitol Square,” Hurst said.