Fresh off her long-running and high-profile feud with the president of the United States, comedian and actress Rosie O’Donnell is wading into a more obscure political battle: the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor of Virginia.
O’Donnell penned a letter Wednesday backing Susan Platt, a consultant who lobbied for Altria and former campaign manager for Democratic candidates, saying Virginia is long overdue to elect a woman to help run the state.
Platt welcomed the support from a chief antagonist to President Trump, who has called O’Donnell “a real loser” and criticized her weight.
“We need strong candidates like Susan who will stand up to Donald Trump and his cronies as they try to take away health insurance from millions of Americans and cut off funding for Planned Parenthood,” O’Donnell wrote in a letter distributed by Platt’s campaign.
“I have had my share of spats with Donald Trump over the years, and he’s had a lot of lame tweets and bad jokes about me,” wrote O’Donnell, who led a protest against Trump outside the White House last month. “Trump would prefer if women like Susan and I didn’t speak our minds and stand up to men like him. But that’s just not our style.”
The office Platt is seeking is fairly limited in Virginia: The lieutenant governor presides over the state Senate during the legislative session and breaks tie votes. And in case the governor is incapacitated, the lieutenant governor steps in. Platt is competing in the June 13 Democratic primary against former federal prosecutors Justin Fairfax and Gene Rossi. In a recent poll, Platt was in the lead, although six in 10 voters were undecided.
On the Republican side, state Del. Glenn R. Davis Jr. (Virginia Beach) and state Sens. Bryce E. Reeves (Spotsylvania) and Jill Holtzman Vogel (Fauquier) are competing for their party’s nomination.
A Platt spokesman said O’Donnell stumbled across Platt and then tweeted about the candidate last week, a move that left some in the world of Virginia politics scratching their heads.
Count the chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia as someone unmoved by the endorsement of O’Donnell, who quit her job as a co-host of the TV talk show “The View” in 2015.
“Sadly it isn’t shocking that a Dem candidate would follow marching orders from a D-lister from New York,” said John Whitbeck. “We wait with bated breath to see if Rosie sticks with her endorsement or if it turns out to be more like her relationship with ‘The View.’ ”