FILE - Va. Sen. Amanda Chase

Virginia State Sen. Amanda Chase.

The Chesterfield County Republican Committee formally removed State Sen. Amanda Chase, R-Chesterfield, from the county party after she supported an independent candidate running against a Republican nominee for sheriff.

The CCRC requires that no member publicly support a person running against one of its nominees. The penalty for violating this rule is removal from the party, although a member is allowed to withhold support for a Republican candidate without triggering a removal.

Last week, the party’s chair, Tara Carroll, sent a letter to Chase that warned her to stop supporting independent candidate Rahn Kersey against the Republican Sheriff Karl Leonard. After refusing to take “corrective action” to come into compliance with the party’s rules, Carroll sent her a letter this week informing her that she had been removed.

According to the Friday letter, the CRCC highlighted three ways in which Chase violating the party's rules. Chase’s campaign paid for Facebook ads for Kersey; Chase has allowed her name to be used by Kersey in opposition to Leonard; and Chase has made public comments in support of Kersey.

“We are aware of several conversations with you by local Republican leaders and activists attempting to persuade you to cease supporting – or giving the appearance of supporting – the independent candidate for Sheriff,” Carroll told Chase in her Friday letter.

“It is apparent that, to date, you have not taken these conversations to heart as there has been no removal of the supporting video, photos and posts, nor have you made a clear public statement that you do not support the independent candidate for Sheriff,” Carrol said. “Furthermore, you appear to have recently escalated the situation by introducing the independent candidate for Sheriff to numerous people at a public event and by launching a social media attack campaign against our Republican nominee, Sheriff Leonard. These are actions that the Republican Party will not condone.”

Chase did not respond to requests for comment from The Center Square, but she told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that she “will not back down” from her opposition to Leonard.

Chase’s main opposition to Leonard came from his immigration policies. Citing a study by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), Chase accused the county sheriff’s office of having only a limited participation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). CIS is a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. that promotes lower immigration numbers.

CIS listed Chesterfield County on its list of states, counties and cities that promote sanctuary policies for illegal immigants. Arlington and Fairfax counties were also on the list.

Staff Writer

Tyler Arnold reports on Virginia and Ohio for The Center Square. He previously worked for the Cause of Action Institute and has been published in Business Insider, USA TODAY College, National Review Online and the Washington Free Beacon.