Virginia House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn (D) on Wednesday stripped Del. Dave LaRock of Loudoun County and two other Republican delegates — Mark Cole and Ronnie Campbell — of committee assignments for urging Vice President Mike Pence to nullify Virginia’s certified presidential election results.
The move came after Loudoun County officials called for LaRock’s removal from office after he participated in the Stop the Steal rally in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6. In response to calls for his removal from office, LaRock then attacked his critics for failing to focus on “the needs of the colored community.”
Filler-Corn stripped LaRock (R-33rd) of his membership on the House transportation committee in the House of Delegates.
LaRock, of Hamilton, represents the 33rd District, which includes Loudoun County and parts of Clarke and Frederick counties.
He received an email around 7 p.m. Wednesday notifying him that he was getting removed from the transportation committee. The said that he believes Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis Randall (D-At Large) and Algonkian Supervisor Juli Briskman (D) contacted Filler-Corn and were behind his removal from the committee.
When he spoke to Randall Wednesday night, LaRock said that Randall only said that she supports the decisions of Filler-Corn.
“It makes it harder for me to move my Republican colleagues to support this bill [on the toll prices for the Dulles Greenway],” he said. “I’m very disappointed. From my perspective, this is putting politics ahead of very important issues to the 33rd district.”
On Thursday morning, Randall said in a Tweet that LaRock had contacted her Wednesday to request that she reach out to Filler-Corn to ask her to place him back on the House transportation committee.
Randall expressed surprise that LaRock would make the request after he issued the statement Tuesday saying Randall, NAACP Loudoun President Michelle Thomas and others who had called for his removal from office should focus on “the needs of the colored community.”
“Seriously, he did. SERIOUSLY,” Randall tweeted.
LaRock said he did not realize that using “colored people” was racist until after he issued the statement.
“In composing that portion of the message, I reasoned that when addressing the head of the NAACP — and you know what the acronym stands for — that I would be on safe ground using the term that’s contained in the name of the organization,” LaRock said.
The delegate said his wife cautioned him against using the term and that when he was reading the comments to his statement, he realized his error.
“That is an outdated term and I shouldn’t use it again, and won’t,” he said.
On Wednesday, LaRock removed “colored community” from his website and replaced it with “minorities in the community.”
In an interview, LaRock backtracked from his original statement on who he believes illegally entered the U.S. Capitol.
On the day of the siege at the Capitol, 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 at the time.
LaRock said he now believes there was a mixture of both agitators and Trump supporters. The delegate also admitted that he wanted to believe that Trump supporters would not break into the Capitol or allegedly kill a police officer.
At the Jan. 6 events, LaRock said the group of people he was around was largely peaceful. Later on, he noticed a few people waving Trump flags approaching the Capitol. But he was so far away that he did not see them going past barriers.
When he saw people actually scaling the walls and barriers around the Capitol, though, LaRock said he and his group got in their van and left the area.
“I was very disappointed ... that people who I considered to be like-minded supporters would be capable of instigating that kind of activity,” LaRock said. “I think some antifa people were there. It also seems clear that there were people there who were Trump supporters but were behaving in a manner that is unbecoming to the great majority of people who support Donald Trump.”
The Loudoun County Republican Committee, 10th Congressional District Republican Committee and the Loudoun County Republican Women’s Club issued a joint statement Wednesday expressing their support for 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,” the groups said.
Regarding the Leesburg Town Council passing a resolution calling for him to resign, LaRock said, “I have every reason to believe it’s politically motivated.”
“This kind of posturing and political gamesmanship has become quite familiar to me in the weeks leading up to the election,” the delegate said. “It is Democrats against Republicans, so that’s why I consider it to be politically motivated.”
LaRock said he is going to do his best during the General Assembly session to “focus on what people sent me here to do, which is look out for the interests of our community.”
“I do think that one of those interests from a broad perspective is upholding my oath and protecting our Constitutional rights, such as the right to free expression,” he said. “That seems to be, from my perspective, what is being challenged here.”