Virginia Tea Partiers Submit Petition to Recall State Senator Louise Lucas


After nearly a year of collecting signatures, Virginia Tea Party members turned in a petition to recall Senator Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth). The petition alleges “Misuse of Office” as the reason for removal, and the grassroots group’s President Nelson Velez said it’s been signed by approximately 8,000 people – nearly double the number statutorily required.

On June 10, 2020 a protest erupted at the Portsmouth Confederate monument. A man was seriously injured when part of the monument fell down, and local police filed charges against Lucas for “conspiracy to commit a felony” and “felony injuring to a monument in excess of $1,000.”

In November, the City of Portsmouth District Court dismissed the charges against Lucas.

The Portsmouth Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office had asked the court to dismiss the charges, arguing that by not intervening in the vandalism, officers who were on scene “either explicitly or implicitly misled [the defendants] to believe that such conduct was lawful.”

Velez told The Virginia Star Tuesday that he disagrees with the court and said the people never got justice. He said the Lucas situation is important because everyone’s actions were caught on camera. He argued that it’s a rare chance to make a point about similar situations beyond Lucas’ district.

He said, “Just to take a big picture of this is that for the longest time over the past year, innocent people have been beaten up, including reporters, and people had their livelihoods burned to the ground.”

“The fear is, without consequences this kind of thing, this kind of mob mentality, will start to grow and overrun our country like it has in other countries,” he said.

In the months following the June protest, Virginia Beach lawyer Tim Anderson began circulating the petition to remove Lucas. But when Lucas sued Anderson for $20 million, alleging defamation, Velez took over the petition. Velez said collecting the signatures has taken a long time because of the pandemic, which discourages large groups of people from congregating, and because people are less likely to answer their door. He said volunteers have been staffing a table on weekends in front of locations like the YMCA and the library, changing locations in order to avoid harassment from protesters.

As a result of the lengthy signature collection process, Velez is prepared for the court to determine that many of the signatures are invalid. But recall petitions only require signatures from 10 percent of voters in the politicians’ district. In this case, Velez said that’s about 4,500 signatures, so he thinks he has a good buffer.

Lucas may contest the signatures, which may prolong the process of evaluating that there are enough. Velez is not sure how long the process will take, but he said he’s aware of some potential candidates waiting to run against Lucas if the recall petition is successful. Lucas is a powerful senator with decades of experience, and is backed by the Democratic establishment. Velez said she’s likely to win even if a recall election is held.

“In this particular case, the Commonwealth’s Attorney, courts, and the major media outlets have really failed the American people, and so the last-ditch effort is going to have to come from us, which is really hard to do.” Nelson said.

Lucas did not respond to a request for comment. In response to 13NewsNow reporter Ali Weatherton’s request, Lucas said, “Ask them to read the constitution.”

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Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and the Star News Network.  Email tips to [email protected].
Photo by Charlie Shugarman and Stephanie Liverman. 




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3 Thoughts to “Virginia Tea Partiers Submit Petition to Recall State Senator Louise Lucas”

  1. Wortley Jones

    I can’t find the words of disgust to express my feelings. Except to say they should be held accountable.

  2. Dennis Black

    Indeed, Seantor Lucas’ detailed actions near the Confederate Statue ( since revoved ) on High Street Portsmuth, VA, are well documented via Video.
    I is without question that Seantor Lucas did nothing to quell the destruction of the Monument that was occuring in front of her. Unfortunately, as aresult of the mayhem that day, one person was critically injured when one of the Monument Statues fell on him.

  3. Cliff Page, Jr.

    What happened on June 6, 2020, was a day that will live in infamy in the history of Portsmouth and in the Commonwealth of Virginia. A protest did not erupt spontaneously on this day. What occurred was an organized riot and seditious insurrection organized by James Boyd the President of the Portsmouth NAACP, who was carrying out the long-standing policies of their national headquarters in Baltimore. This event was one of dozens copy-cated throughout the South as part of their 50+ year “Take “em Down Movement. That movement is based on slander and lies to discredit the Confederacy and the South and white Southerners, for purposes of promoting their own agenda of black racism and black power. This was blatantly clear when James Boyd, who had crossed into a crime scene, and was arrested (and later admitted that he committed a crime of desecration of the monument and violating the First Amendment Rights of Portsmouth Citizens by bagging the statues honoring the Confederate Dead from Portsmouth and Norfolk) just released from jail, came back to the scene and whipped up the rabid mob. Throwing his clenched fist into the air he yelled out over a megaphone “We’re in control now!” and shouted “Black Power, Black Power, Black Power”. This was clearly a racist inspired hate crime. Boyd and his Vice Presidents promoted and encouraged this riot, which is a felony.

    Public Defenders participated in desecrating the monument and encouraged children to violate the law in doing so also. They should all be disbarred for their actions. Desecrating a monument is not a protest. It is a serious crime. Covering a statue dedicated to War Veterans is not a protest. It is a crime against the Constitution and sedition against the Citizens of the City and the Commonwealth, the history, patramony and honor of all Virginians. To call out over the airwaves for people to “Come down and help us Erase the Stain” is a Federal crime. NAACP officials did this for hours. Indeed, for the Police to stand down and watch, and do nothing, and in fact direct traffic to a crime scene is a crime of omission and silent participation , and for the Police Chief to show incompetence and do nothing, absolutely demanded that she be terminated. Her inaction was unprofessional and a discredit to the Portsmouth Police department and showed gross incompetance.

    Likewise for the Commonwealth Attorney to not fully prosecute the “Portsmouth 18” vigorously and demand justice or appeal this matter to the Supreme Court demands her impeached! But for Sen. Lucas to mislead the public and interfere with the police, if by no other action than her presence, (but in this case by false statements, insinuations, and blatant provocative encouoragement, was an incitement not only to break the law, but to riot, which indeed is a Felony in Virginia. She should be impeached for actions unbecoming a State Senator, who is sworn to uphold the law of the State and the Federal Constitituions.

    Sen. Lucas was not ignorant. She certainly knew full well that the Memorial did not and does not belong to the City and that its ownership and the land it rested on was indeed intestate. The entire City knows that Judge Billy Moore ruled the the City had not proved ownership in a case they had argued before his court. She falsely claimed that because the City maintained the Memorial that this gave them title to it. The City and the Sons of the Confederacy have contributed to its maintenance, but the City, by Court Precidenc, had a legal obligatory responsibility to maintain the monument based on a Supreme Court Ruling going back to the 19th Century. The Memorial was in the Right of Way and a city has a responsibility for all ritht of ways, but does not have to improve them, but if it does it must do so in perpetuity. The City has taken on this honor and duty for over a hundred years and has also provided it protection and maintenance. This does not give the City ownership though. The intestate status of the Memorial was clearly known to the Police Chief, City Attorney, the City Manager, the City Council, the Mayor, the Vice Mayor and to Sen. Lucas. For any of these parties to act to take down or desecrate this Memorial was a serious criminal offense. Before or after the revision of Sec. 15.2 1812 of the State Code. And for the City to allow desecration to take place and then move this Veteran’s Memorial and pave over the section of the street (which it does not own) is a serious illegal taking and a grand larceny. Those that participated in this riot and criminality should be all prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. High officials should not only loose their status and positions but turn in their pen strips for striped suits. What happened on June 6th, 2020 in Portsmouth and led to similar
    and worse actions in Norfolk, Richmond is a gross insult to the Commonwealth and has been a great calmuny spread spread around the globe to disparage the Comonwealth of Virginia and all its good people and what they stand for. This kind of racist hate crime can not be allowed to stand without retrobution, atonement, recompense. High and low, people must be made to answer for their crimes in this matter.