Tina Ramirez has scrubbed her campaign for the GOP nomination for the Seventh Congressional District (CD), due to redistricting. On Wednesday, she announced that she will run for state Senate District (SD) 12 in 2023. That sets her up for a primary battle with State Senator Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield), whose own Seventh Congressional District ambitions were smashed by redistricting.
“The 12th Senate District is a wholly new district, which is exciting because we need new voices and fresh ideas,” Ramirez told The Richmond-Times Dispatch. “This is what I bring to the conservative movement.”
The new SD 12 is mostly composed of Chesterfield County, overlapping significantly with Chase’s current district, SD 11. The new SD 12 also includes pieces of State Senator Ghazala Hashmi’s (D-Chesterfield) SD 10, and a small piece of State Senator Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond)’s SD 16. Hashmi and Chase were both drawn into the new SD 12, but Hashmi has said she plans to seek election in the new SD 15, not SD 12.
Chase’s SD 11 is already a solidly-red district, but the new SD 12 is even more Republican-leaning.
“That district has pretty much lost all of its minority-heavy precincts, which were in the northern part of the old district. It’s now just completely suburban, and rural that rural part of Chesterfield. The only majority-Black district is Ettrick, next to Colonial Heights,” CNalysis Executive Director Chaz Nuttycombe told The Virginia Star.
Nuttycombe said that long-term, the district is trending Democratic.
While Chase has a passionate following among hard-line Republicans across Virginia, Chase clashes with Senate Republicans and does not caucus with them. She also has a rough relationship with local Republicans. She was kicked out of the Chesterfield GOP after endorsing an opponent against Republican nominee Karl Leonard, who went on to win the race for sheriff.
“Chase has stepped on a lot of toes, local toes, local Republicans in her district,” Nuttycombe said.
Nuttycombe said the results may depend on whether the GOP holds the nomination by convention, which tends to favor more conservative candidates, or by primary, which favors more moderate candidates and may even get some Democrats voting. He also said Chase struggles with fundraising.
“Her colleagues and leadership and what-not on the GOP side would like to see her out, Ramirez in. If it is a primary, I think she [Chase] has a more difficult task, for those reasons, and I think she would be favored, in a convention.”
Ramirez’s Campaign Manager Liam Gray said that Ramirez was the front runner for the CD 7 race before redistricting, and enters the SD 12 race with a large war chest and an “unparalleled grassroots base” in Chesterfield.
Chase told The Star, “I currently live in what is now SD 12 and do plan to run again.”
She said she is focused on the near term, including the General Assembly session that kicked off Wednesday.
When asked about Ramirez, Chase said, “Tina who? She’s been running for public office for how many years? And she has zero experience. I have absolutely nothing to worry about.”
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Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Tina Ramirez” by Tina Ramirez. Photo “Amanda Chase” by Amanda Chase. Background Photo “Virginia State Senate Floor” by Waldo Jaquith. CC BY-SA 2.0.
John Fredericks is the publisher and editor-in-chief of The Virginia Star.
He is also a Trump 2020 delegate and the chairman of the Trump Virginia Delegation.