Virginia Del. Dave LaRock does not plan to step down after calls for his resignation following his questioning of the recent presidential election and his response to the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol.
Over the last few days, several local leaders and groups — the NAACP Loudoun Branch, Loudoun County Democratic Committee and two county supervisors — have called for his resignation, claiming he is continuing to spread misinformation about the 2020 presidential election.
On Tuesday night, the Leesburg Town Council passed a resolution in a 5-2 vote calling for LaRock to resign due to his repeated public questioning of the 2020 election results, “thereby sowing doubts within the minds of many of his constituents.”
LaRock (R-33rd) made a statement Tuesday evening and spoke with the Times-Mirror Wednesday before joining his colleagues for the first day of the General Assembly session.
“First, let me make it clear, 17,664 voters put me in office and I have no intention of caving to ridiculous politically motivated demands any more than President Trump will roll over to impeachment efforts by Nancy Pelosi,” LaRock said in a prepared statement.
LaRock attended at least two Stop the Steal rallies — on Nov. 15 in Loudoun County and Jan. 6 in Washington, D.C. — supporting claims of voter fraud in the Nov. 3 presidential election when former Vice President Joe Biden (D) defeated President Donald Trump (R).
He went on to criticize House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and local leaders including NAACP Loudoun President Michelle Thomas, Algonkian Supervisor Juli Briskman (D) and Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis Randall (D-At Large).
“I have stayed loyal to the President even now as RINOs are jumping ship and that won’t end. Democrat Trump haters want to humiliate our president and they want to intimidate me and make me unelectable,” LaRock said in his statement issued Tuesday.
“Rather than focusing on the business of Loudoun County and the needs of the colored community, they are wasting their time and taxpayer resources to attack me,” he said.
A growing group of Loudouners are upset with LaRock’s latest comments, specifically his reference to the “colored community.” Thomas said after the past year with the community rallying behind the death of her son and the unity it has built, she is not going to comment on LaRock’s response.
“He’s done enough,” Thomas said. “For me to go tit for tat with him is not going to happen. I’ve got my eyes on the ball, and that’s to remove him from office.”
A spokesperson from Chair Randall’s office said LaRock’s statement is “beneath giving any breath.”
The Loudoun County Republican Committee, 10th Congressional District Republican Committee and the Loudoun County Republican Women's Club issued a joint statement Wednesday, saying they “unequivocally” condemn the use of violence to further a political agenda.
“We have also been vocal about our support of law and order and the brave men and women of law enforcement who stand in the gap to keep us safe,” the Republican groups said.
They defended LaRock’s record in the state legislature, saying has was elected and re-elected by his constituents many times and is a “strong representative” for the residents of Loudoun, Clarke and Frederick counties, including working “tirelessly to fight against Greenway tolls.”
“Those calling for his resignation believe in guilt by association, and it is appalling. These actions are purely political in nature,” they said.
“Should Loudoun County Chair Phyllis Randall, and others who participated in protests this summer, be made to resign for the actions of rioters and looters who shared their cause? Of course not,” the groups said.
The groups said Randall and Briskman should focus on county business instead of “divisive political gamesmanship.”
“Randall and Briskman’s destructive and divisive effort will not build ‘unity,’ will waste taxpayer time and resources, and is a terrible example of leadership and good governance,” they added.
While LaRock called for Vice President Mike Pence to nullify Virginia’s election results on the day after the storming of the Capitol and attended the Jan. 6 Stop the Steal rally, he did not participate in the attack on the Capitol and has since condemned the violence.
On the day of the siege at the Capitol, though, LaRock stated on his Facebook page that it was not Trump supporters who participated in the siege. “Unfortunately, there was a small element who likely infiltrated this patriotic group for the purpose of inciting violence,” he wrote.
On Wednesday, Virginia House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn (D-41st) stripped three Republicans, including LaRock, of some committee assignments for sending the letter to Pence to nullify Virginia’s presidential election results, according to multiple media reports. LaRock was stripped of his duty on the House transportation committee.
In its resolution, the Leesburg Town Council on Tuesday night condemned the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol as an “act of insurrection” that “has torn at the very fabric of our union as it revealed the degree of contempt to which many of America’s own citizens hold our Democracy and its founding tenets.”
The resolution also called for LaRock to resign due to his repeated public questioning of the 2020 election results, “thereby sowing doubts within the minds of many of his constituents.”
Councilman Neil Steinberg drafted the condemnation passed Tuesday night. “If the protection of the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law is not critically important and nonpartisan, I don’t know what is. The result of the November 3, 2020 presidential election is no longer a question, it is a fact. But we have elected officials who continue to deny reality,” Steinberg said. “This is unacceptable behavior.”
Several of the Leesburg council’s senior members, including Mayor Kelly Burk, agreed with Steinberg. “Mr. LaRock made repeated false statements about the election that galvanized people to rebel,” Burk said. “The lies have got to stop.”
LaRock’s district lies in parts of Frederick, Clarke and Loudoun counties, including some of the outlying edges of Leesburg.
Councilwoman Suzanne Fox and new Councilwoman Kari Nacy, while roundly condemning the Capitol attack, believed Steinberg’s resolution was divisive.
“A lot of us made campaign promises to be nonpartisan, and this feels like a very partisan solution,” Nacy said. “I don’t think we as a council need to represent an opinion on this matter.”
While Leesburg Town Council is nonpartisan, both Fox and Nacy have been endorsed by the Loudoun County Republican Committee in the past. Steinberg, Burk, Martinez, and new Councilmen Ara Bagdasarian and Zach Cummings have been endorsed by the Loudoun County Democratic Committee.
Times-Mirror correspondent Elizabeth Stinnette contributed to this report.