Lt. gov. nominee Jackson says ‘no apologies’ for past comments on gays, abortion

Jill Nance/AP - Lieutenant governor nominee E.W. Jackson speaks with supporters at the Lynchburg Regional Airport terminal Tuesday. (Jill Nance/The News & Advance via Associated Press)

Virginia’s newly minted Republican lieutenant governor nominee E.W. Jackson says his faith and values inform his conservative stances on issues such as abortion and marriage — and some of his past statements critics are now highlighting as extreme and offensive.

“I say the things that I say because I’m a Christian, not because I hate anybody, but because I have religious values that matter to me,” Jackson told reporters at a campaign stop in Fredericksburg. “Attacking me because I hold to those principles is attacking every church-going person, every family that’s living a traditional family life, everybody who believes that we all deserve the right to live. So I don’t have anything to rephrase or apologize for. I would just say people should not paint me as one-dimensional.”

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Jackson, a virtual unknown who has never held public office, has grabbed headlines in recent days as Democrats immediately seized on his past comments on abortion, race and homosexuality. He suggested that Planned Parenthood has done more to hurt blacks than the Ku Klux Klan and called gays and lesbians “perverted” and “very sick people.”

The Chesapeake minister, who ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate last year, defeated six other candidates Saturday at the Republican Party of Virginia’s state convention to become the party’s first African American nominee for statewide office since 1988. Also on the GOP statewide ticket are gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli II and attorney general nominee Mark D. Obenshain.

They will face Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe and the winners of a June 11 primary.

The trio criss-crossed the state in a three-day tour that ended Tuesday, thanking supporters and introducing themselves to general election voters.

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