VA Lt. Governor Race: Two Virginia Officials Write on Facebook on False...

VA Lt. Governor Race: Two Virginia Officials Write on Facebook on False Endorsement Claims


VIRGINIA LT. GOVERNOR RACE. JUNE 13 PRIMARY. Two Virginia officials, Hopewell, Va. Vice Mayor and the Executive Director of the Virginia ACLU, have taken to social media over the last 48 hours to say that Susan Platt, a candidate for Virginia Lt. claireGGovernor, used their names and photos on endorsement fliers — even though they have not endorsed her.

The primary vote is this Tuesday, June 13.  Platt, a lobbyist, is running against attorney Justin Fairfax and former DOJ official Gene Rossi.

Vice Mayor Jasmine Gore and ACLU Executive Director Claire Gastanaga took to facebook and twitter to clarify the matter.

“It came to my attention that another candidate says they have my endorsement for Lieutenant Governor. This is not true,” wrote Hopewell Vice Mayor Gore on facebook on June 9. Vice Mayor Gore’s name is listed as an endorser on a Platt campaign flier. 

“I was contacted a few months ago regarding an endorsement for a candidate for Lt. Governor. Given my well-known endorsement of and commitment to Justin Fairfax, I cannot and do not endorse any other candidate,” Gore went on.

“I do, however support all women who run for office. That is why Screen Shot 2017-06-09 at 7.55.53 PMI provided a statement of support for a woman running for Lt. Governor. However, to be clear… Justin Fairfax is my candidate for Lieutenant Governor and I endorse him solely. I have not approved any official endorsement using my name and elected office for any other candidate, and I will be voting for him on June 13th. #TeamFairfax,” Gore added.  

“A friend just let me know that Susan Smocer Platt’s campaign included a picture of me in a piece of political direct mail without my consent. I have only the vaguest recollection of Ms. Platt asking to take the photo with me at a public event. I remember being uneasy about it at the time since I knew it might appear as a Facebook post,” wrote Gastanaga on June 8th.  

Gastanaga’s photo is on a Platt campaign flier.

“It’s one thing for me to appear in a contemporaneous news feed about our mutual presence at an event. It’s quite another thing, however, for the photo to be taken out of context and used in a campaign mailer in a manner that implies an endorsement. I guess I should have paid closer attention to my gut instinct and discomfort at the time. Bottom line: I am not involved with any political campaign nor have I endorsed Ms. Platt or any other candidate,” she added.  

Platt has also claimed the endorsement of former Maryland Congresswoman Donna Edwards at a Fairfax NAACP candidate forum on May 28. But records show that Edwards made a donation to Justin Fairfax in late May. 

Fairfax is leading Platt and former DOJ employee Gene Rossi in the money race and has won every major straw poll including Rep. Gerry Connolly’s St Patrick’s Day straw poll, one of the largest held in the Commonwealth. 

The fundraising totals for the three candidates from 1/1/2017 to 6/1/2017 are:

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Lauren Victoria Burke
Twitter: @LVBurke / Lauren Victoria Burke is an independent journalist who analyses politics and justice reform. She created, a blog that covers the work of African American members of Congress, in 2009. Ms. Burke has also been a staffer for the Senate Democratic Policy Committee and Director of Communications for Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN). She has had a very diverse career in politics and media and appears weekly on NewsOneNow with Roland Martin. She has also appeared on Hardball with Chris Matthews, Politics Nation with Al Sharpton and Up with Steve Kornacki on MSNBC. She is also a contributing writer for and Ms. Burke was born in the Bronx, New York and grew up on Long Island. She holds a B.A. in History from The American University. E-mail: Instagram: LVB325.