Richmond, VA—On Friday evening, Governor Glenn Youngkin announced Susan Beals, a former aide to Republican Senator Amanda Chase, for the role of Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Elections. While the former Commissioner, Chris Piper, known for his nonpartisan approach, had no experience working with a political campaign, the opposite is true for Susan Beals. Beals worked for Ed Gillespie’s campaign for Governor in 2017 and for Senator Amanda Chase as a legislative assistant. Chase is well known for her participation in the January 6, 2021 insurrection, so we’re left wondering why Beals would work for someone who participated unless she also agreed with the sentiment behind the Big Lie.
“With his selection of Susan Beals for commissioner of the Virginia Department of Elections, Governor Glenn Youngkin has shown once again that he is a right-wing extremist and not the moderate he worked to portray himself as on the campaign trail,” LaTwyla Mathias, Executive Director of Progress Virginia said. “Republicans are doing everything they can to make it harder to vote, in a desperate attempt to maintain their power now that they have been exposed for who they truly are. Selecting Susan Beals as Commissioner of the Department of Elections puts us all in danger of not being able to access the ballot box. Whether we care about racial justice, LGBTQ rights, economic justice, immigrant rights, the environment, or all of the above plus some, we can’t make progress towards a community where all of us can thrive unless every single eligible voter is able to participate in our democracy.”
Youngkin Names Local GOP Official, former aide to Chase, as new state elections commissioner [Richmond Times Dispatch, Patrick Wilson]
“Gov. Glenn Youngkin has appointed a Republican former member of the Chesterfield Electoral Board who is also a former legislative assistant to state Sen. Amanda Chase, R-Chesterfield, as the new commissioner of the Virginia Department of Elections.”
“The governor’s office announced the appointment of Susan Beals in an email Friday evening. She replaces Chris Piper, who had hoped to remain in the job under the new administration. Then-Gov. Ralph Northam appointed Piper as commissioner in January 2018, and he was known for operating in a nonpartisan fashion and defending Virginia’s elections process against myths and falsehoods.”
“Beals previously worked as a legislative assistant to Chase and donated $600 to her campaigns, plus in-kind services to Chase between 2015 and 2018, and donated $1,000 to Youngkin’s campaign in August. Facebook suspended Chase’s official Facebook account in 2021 after she praised Capitol rioters and spread falsehoods. Her colleagues in the Senate censured her for ‘conduct unbecoming of a senator’ in 2021 and removed her seniority and her last committee assignment.”
“Gianni Snidle, a spokesman for the Democratic Party of Virginia, by email Sunday attacked Youngkin’s choice of someone with ties to Chase, a senator “who introduced a bill to spend $70 million on an audit of the 2020 election.” Snidle said Youngkin had embraced “the fringe, far-right conspiracy theories of Donald Trump and The Big Lie.”