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by Brandon Jarvis

A Republican candidate in Virginia’s new seventh congressional district is attacking a primary opponent by falsely saying he received support from a group of Republicans who want LGBT individuals to have equal rights.

In an email and during a public forum, Gina Ciarcia attacked Derrick Anderson by trying to tie him to Log Cabin Republicans. Both candidates are seeking the Republican nomination to run against Rep. Abigail Spanberger in Virginia’s seventh congressional district.

Casey Flores, the Richmond Chapter president for the Log Cabin Republicans describes the group as the nation’s largest Republican organization dedicated to representing LGBT conservatives and allies. The group has existed for more than 40 years.

Flores says the group has not endorsed a candidate in the seventh district primary. However, in an email attacking her primary opponents, Ciarcia cited the group’s support of Anderson as a reason that Republicans should not support him.

The email asks readers if they would rather support Ciarcia or a “candidate who.” The email then lists her opponents along with reasons that her campaign believes Republicans should not support them.

Under Anderson’s name, the email says he is endorsed by “LBGT special interest group, Log Cabin Republicans – Richmond.”

She also made a similar statement during a forum in early April citing a false endorsement from Log Cabin Republicans as a reason to not vote for Anderson.

“The Log Cabin Republicans of Richmond has not endorsed any candidate for Virginia 07 during the primary campaign,” Flores said in a statement to Virginia Scope. “We call on candidate Gina Ciarcia to issue a correction email to her very few supporters immediately.”

The group has had notable guests including Governor Glenn YoungkinAttorney General Jason Miyares, and congressional candidate Leon Benjamin in the past. “Is she going to criticize Governor Youngkin or AG Miyares for having actually spoken to us?” Flores said Sunday.

Ciarcia stood behind her comments Sunday.

“When special interest groups are clearly behind one candidate, normal people call it an endorsement, whether or not there is a press release and regardless of what the DC elite calls it,” Ciarcia said in a statement to Virginia Scope. “The bottom line is this: I am the only political outsider in this race and the only one who is seeking the endorsement of the people of the 7th District, not special interest groups.”

Anderson’s campaign expressed disappointment that Republicans are trying to pit other Republicans against each other. “Our campaign is working extremely hard to win this nomination and are growing a wide-range of support. We’ve had great interactions with the Log Cabin Republicans in Virginia, however they have stated they are not endorsing anyone in the VA-07 race,” said Juan O’Leary, Anderson’s campaign manager. “It is a shame some people in this race would try to pit Republicans against Republicans in a race that will need the biggest tent possible in order to defeat Abigail Spanberger in November.”

Anderson and Ciarcia are two of many in a crowded field looking to earn the nomination to face Spanberger later this year. The nominee will be chosen in a June 21 primary.


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By vascope

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