RICHMOND, Va. – A judge ruled against Virginia state Sen. Amanda Chase on Friday in her challenge of the state Republican party’s plans for this year’s nominating contest.
Plans right now, which have not been set in stone, call for a statewide convention May 1 to choose nominees for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general. But mass gatherings remain banned for health reasons in the coronavirus pandemic, and party leaders haven’t been able to agree on how to adjust.
Since 1969, Republicans have only used a primary in four of the 13 gubernatorial elections: 1989, 1997, 2005 and 2017.
Republican gubernatorial candidates have been eager to see the rules put in place so they can tailor their campaigns to whatever the nomination process will be.
Chase has advocated for a primary and was seeking a court order ruling out an assembled convention.
But a Richmond Circuit Court judge found that the candidate for governor lacks standing to bring her claim and effectively granted a motion from the Republican Party of Virginia to dismiss the case.
“We’re pleased that the judge recognized our First Amendment rights to choose the method of nomination free from government intervention,” said Chris Marston, the party’s general counsel.
Asked whether Chase will appeal, her attorney, Tim Anderson, said he had to speak with her about that.