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E.W. Jackson, Virginia’s New GOP Lt. Gov. Candidate, Draws fire for Strong Views on Gays

E.W. Jackson, the African-American candidate for lieutenant governor selected over the weekend by the Republican Party in Virginia, has drawn a firestorm of criticism for his views, which include stating that President Obama has “Muslim sensibilities,” accusing the Democratic Party of enslaving African-Americans, and claiming that gays and lesbians are “very sick people, psychologically and emotionally.” 

Jackson’s selection as the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor might pose problems for the Republican gubernatorial candidate, Ken Cuccinelli, who in recent months has tried to keep his campaign message focused on jobs and the economy—even as Democrats try to attack him for his staunchly conservative record on abortion and gay rights.

Cuccinelli may have difficulty extricating himself from the extreme views of his party’s lieutenant governor candidate, particularly on an issue like abortion. Last fall, Jackson, a black minister who is a Harvard Divinity School graduate, posted a four-minute video on YouTube during which he accused the “civil rights establishment” of selling out their Christian values in order to support Democratic policy positions on gay marriage and abortion.

“The Democrat Party has created an unholy alliance between certain so-called civil rights leaders and Planned Parenthood, which has killed unborn black babies by the tens of millions,” Jackson said as he encouraged blacks to vote Republican in the November election. “Planned Parenthood has been far more lethal to black lives than the KKK ever was.”

Just last week, Planned Parenthood ran web ads against Cuccinelli. Virginia’s Democratic Party conducted a campaign of robo-calls accusing the state attorney general of “pursuing an ideological tea party agenda that bans abortion.”

Jackson is the founder of an organization called STAND (Staying True to America’s National Destiny), which on its website describes abortion as “the equivalent of an idolatrous offering to the god of ‘sexual license.’”

“It is no different than in times past when pagans offered their babies on an altar of fire to assure their own good fortune,” the STAND website says.

While Garren Shipley, Republican Party of Virginia spokesman, defended Jackson, he predicted the 2013 elections would not hinge on social issues.

“It is no secret that E.W. Jackson has deeply held Christian conservative beliefs. But the race for lieutenant governor will be fought on economic ground as opposed to social policy. In the weeks and months ahead, Jackson will focus on ideas that produce more quality jobs for Virginians and make life easier for families and workers,” Shipley said in an email to Politico.

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