Republican gubernatorial candidate and Virginia state Sen. Amanda Chase filed a lawsuit against the commonwealth's Republican Party on Tuesday over its move to hold a nomination convention instead of a primary.
"Currently, the Republican Party of Virginia has chosen a method that is illegal under the Governor's current executive orders and is secretly planning to chose the statewide nominees themselves, bypassing the people of Virginia," Chase said in a statement. "I will not stand for this. The people should be allowed to vote on Republican nominees."
Chase is part of a crowded GOP gubernatorial primary but made national news when she was censured over comments appearing to show support for the rioters who attacked the Capitol last month.
The lawsuit comes ahead of a scheduled meeting of the Republican State Central Committee on Feb. 27, when they are expected to decide on the convention's format. Due to the state's coronavirus restrictions, the committee will likely try to decide whether to put on an unassembled convention.
The committee had originally agreed late last year to hold a convention instead of a traditional primary to select the gubernatorial nominee, but a second vote for the event to be held virtually failed.
The Virginia Republican Party has until Feb. 23 to tell the Board of Elections whether it will be using a primary nomination method.
The party's chairman, Rich Anderson, wrote in a letter to committee members last month that he was concerned the committee would not be able to reach a consensus on how to proceed, which would leave the executive committee with the decision to choose the nominee.
“That will require that our three statewide nominees be selected by the State Central Committee (SCC), which will take on the perception of party bosses huddled in a smoke-filled backroom," Anderson wrote, according to Virginia Scope.