A Virginia gubernatorial candidate responded to a city’s decision to strip its park of a Gen. Robert E. Lee statue by saying the city is acting like a tyrant.
“You cannot revise history,” said the candidate, Corey Stewart, who also served as Virginia state chairman for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. “Only tyrants attempt to erase history. This is tantamount to denouncing your own heritage.”
Stewart announced that he is enlisting candidates to compete against the Charlottesville, Va., councilmen who voted to remove the statue.
“I will do whatever I need to, both now and as governor, to stop this historical vandalism,” the candidate announced. “We must fight to protect Virginia’s heritage.”
Stewart said that he will aid the lawsuit contesting the council’s decision.
Virginia state law mandates that localities cannot take down war veteran memorials, a category including Confederate Army soldiers. A judge ruled that the law only includes monuments erected since 1998; the Lee statue in Charlottesville was given to the city in 1924.
“My guess is if the City Council decided to vote to move the statue, there would probably be an immediate temporary restraining order filed,” said Tim Heaphy, former U.S. attorney general. “And a judge would have to quickly determine whether that lawsuit has potential, if so it might freeze the action before the city’s decision goes into effect.”
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