Republican Senator Emmett Hanger is facing a tough re-election bid.
And as he tries to fend off a conservative challenger, Hanger has resorted to outright lies on his campaign material.
But Hanger’s campaign should have seen the backlash coming a mile away.
In an act of sheer manipulation the likes of which has rarely been seen – even for a politician – Senator Emmett Hanger has been caught blatantly lying on his campaign literature in the lead up to the June 11th Republican primary for the 24th Senate District, which he has represented since 1996.
Hanger is currently locked in a bitter primary race with Republican challenger Tina Frietas, wife of Culpeper Delegate Nick Freitas.
Freitas launched her bid against Hanger after he capped off what conservative activists decry as the most liberal term in office of any Republican state legislator in the Commonwealth.
After getting re-elected in 2015, Hanger has repeatedly voted to kill Constitutional Carry, voted to ram through Obamacare expansion in Virginia, and then sided with every Democrat in the state legislature to send millions of taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood.
But based on his campaign literature, Hanger is trying to convince his constituents that he’s done none of these things.
New Virginia Press obtained a copy of Hanger’s most recent campaign literature, and the facts are unavoidable for Hanger.
Hanger claims to be a “100% Defender of the Innocent Unborn”, and yet he was the only Republican in the Virginia Senate to vote against the Hyde Amendment in the 2018 budget, which would have blocked any taxpayer funding from being used to pay for abortions.
Hanger led the charge to kill the Hyde Amendment in the Senate, a fact which Freitas’ campaign confirmed when video of him standing up on the floor of the Senate arguing three separate times against it was published online.
And yet, Hanger claims that any criticisms of his record on the issue of abortion is simply “misinformation”. This is another lie. Hanger had the opportunity to vote with every other Republican in the Senate to oppose taxpayer dollars for abortions, and he chose to vote with pro-abortion Democrats instead.
The fact is that Emmett Hanger voted for taxpayer funding for abortion clinics like Planned Parenthood, and this is verifiable information that any Virginian can easily find online.
Even worse, Hanger adds to this lie with another one, that’s he’s a “100% Defender of the 2nd Amendment”. This is such a blatant lie that even Hanger’s campaign must have hesitated to slap it on their campaign literature.
Emmett Hanger had the lowest score by the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) of any Republican Senator in 2018, with an abysmal 71% rating. In previous years, that record has been even worse, with Hanger being given a 67% in 2014.
Hanger has repeatedly been the only Republican in the entire Virginia Senate to vote against Constitutional Carry, having done so for several years in a row.
In 2016, Hanger was the lone Republican and the ultimate deciding vote against passing Constitutional Carry in Virginia. He did the same thing earlier this year when he again was the only Republican to vote against Constitutional Carry.
Hanger’s record on the 2nd Amendment is rocky at best, and outright hostile at worst. That he claims to be a “100% Defender of the 2nd Amendment” is one of the most brazen lies in modern Virginia political history.
For the third line in a row, Hanger also claims to be “keeping taxes low and creating jobs”.
Once again, Hanger’s campaign is overlooking his long-standing record of voting for some of the largest tax increases in the 400-year history of the Virginia legislature.
In 2004, Hanger voted for an over 1.4 billion dollar tax increase championed by Democratic Governor Mark Warner. In 2006, Hanger voted for a 1 billion dollar tax increase proposed by Democratic Governor Tim Kaine. In 2008, Hanger voted to raise the Fuel Tax in Virginia, and in 2018 Hanger voted for a new 600 million dollar tax on healthcare, pushing through a state budget that increased spending by 11%.
The latest tax hike Hanger voted for just last year was one of the largest spending increases in Virginia’s history.
Hanger has one of the most extensive tax-hiking records of any Republican in the entire Virginia Senate. If his campaign is claiming to be “keeping taxes low” for Virginians, then Hanger has utterly failed at this campaign pledge, having voted with multiple Democratic Governors to raise billions upon billions of dollars in taxes.
Each of these points have been key issues of contention for Hanger’s primary challenger, Tina Freitas, who has routinely cited his record of voting with Democrats on key issues from taxes to the second amendment to abortion as the reason she decided to primary him this year.
The two face off on June 11th in what is expected to be one of the most hotly contested primary elections of this election cycle.
We will keep you up to date with any new developments in this primary race.