GOP’s Dave Brat makes ever-so-brief media appearance in race to replace Eric Cantor

June 19

Republican congressional candidate Dave Brat briefly emerged from his campaign headquarters Thursday to announce that he had hired an interim campaign manager who once worked for the man Brat unseated in dramatic fashion last week: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

Amanda Chase will replace Zachary Werrell as campaign manager during the transition, but Brat did not say if she would stay on through November. Chase served as political director for Cantor’s 2010 reelection bid, according to information on her LinkedIn page.

“She has a heart for the grass roots and a great deal of campaign experience,” Brat said, adding: “To her credit, months ago, when I was the underdog, she stated publicly that I was a credible candidate and contender in this race.”

Brat, who has largely ducked media exposure since his win, spoke for eight minutes. He was surrounded by about 40 volunteers and retreated inside the office-front headquarters, ignoring questions shouted by reporters.

During his remarks, Brat repeated what he called the six principles of the Republican creed, which were a mainstay of his primary campaign.

“These six principles are how we intend to unify the different parts of the Republican Party and hopefully unify all people across the entire 7th District regardless of party,” said Brat, who was backed by tea party and anti-establishment activists.

Brat, an economics professor at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, said people are unhappy about unemployment, the Affordable Care Act and the national debt.

“These disappointments and other policy failures are contributing to an economy that is now in the ditch. And they’re caused by Washington, not by you and me,” he said.

Chase was most recently political director for Susan Stimpson, one of several unsuccessful candidates for the GOP nomination for lieutenant governor in Virginia last year.

Previously, Chase was political director for Rep. J. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) and deputy volunteer coordinator for Robert F. McDonnell’s inaugural gubernatorial committee. Chase notes on her LinkedIn page that she home-schooled her children for eight years.

Chase, through Brat campaign spokesman Brian Gottstein, declined to answer questions.

Brat will face Jack Trammell (D), also a professor at Randolph-Macon, in the fall.

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