by Brandon Jarvis

Cox plans to invest in law enforcement immediately if he wins the race for Governor in 2021. 

In a press conference, Cox announced that former state Senator Bill Carrico (R) will be leading the initiative, “Partnership for a Safe Virginia.” This is the Cox campaign’s first policy platform introduced during his race for Governor. “This opportunity for me to become involved in the public safety side is important,” said Carrico, a former state trooper. 

While he said that people in southwest Virginia were calling for him to run, Carrico dropped his name from consideration and endorsed Cox on Thursday. “Even though I will not seek the Republican nomination, I will continue to speak out and lead the fight for a safe Virginia. The Democratic Party is waging a relentless war on law enforcement. We need leaders to stop the insane attacks on law and order before it is too late. Kirk Cox is exactly the kind of leader Virginia needs, and I am proud to endorse him today,” said Carrico, who served eight years as a State Senator representing Southwest Virginia. 

Carrico told reporters that the priority of the law enforcement initiative would involve investing $50 million during the first year of a Cox administration in an attempt to end salary compression and raise pay for troopers and deputies. 

According to Carrico, they would start by establishing a leadership coalition representing various law enforcement groups within the first 100 days of Cox taking office. This coalition would advance the $50 million commitment and address structural salary issues plaguing law enforcement across the Commonwealth, according to the Cox campaign. 

Cox and Carrico stressed that they believe boosting law enforcement would benefit the economy. Cox talked about the protests that took place in Richmond over the summer, saying that people who live in his hometown are afraid to eat at restaurants in Richmond. 

Carrico followed up with the same notion, saying “they are destroying the ability for people to safely bring their families into areas like that.” 

He has to win, first. Joe Biden won Virginia by 10 points and Republicans have not won statewide since 2009. 

Cox and Carrico echoed the sentiments coming from other Republicans and moderate Democrats about the so-called ‘defund the police’ movement and how they believe that will turn their way. The former Speaker of the House named off the candidates running for the Democratic nomination, noting that he believes the progressive wing of the party will pull the moderate candidates to the left, benefiting Republicans. 

“Cox claimed the Democrats were trying to defund the police while voting on a [Democratic] budget that *increased* police funding by tens of millions of dollars,” said Delegate Lee Carter, a self-described Democratic-socialist that is exploring launching a campaign for Governor. “Support for expanding the police state is, unfortunately, bipartisan in Virginia.”

Carrico lumped all Democrats together on the issue. “Partisan Democrats do not seem to understand if the people are not safe and they are unable to protect themselves and their property, our economy suffers, our educational abilities are limited, and our constitutional rights will dwindle away.”

Cox also addressed the statement from Senator Amanda Chase (R) where she declared she would be running for Governor as an Independent, splitting the conservative vote in the general election. Chase’s decision comes after the Republican State Central Committee decided to choose the 2021 GOP nominee for Governor by convention. Chase stated prior to the meeting that if a primary was not chosen, she would not participate. 

Cox said the decision from Chase to not participate in the process disappointed him. “Bill and I will both tell you that we are primary people,” he noted before saying that Independents usually fade by “Spring and Summer.” 

The Chase campaign disagrees. “If select members of the GOP are deciding to keep it as a convention, then they are taking the middle finger to ‘we the people’ in Virginia,” said Phillip Search, campaign manager for Amanda Chase. “She is not going anywhere.”

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