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Pro-Trump GOP state senator invokes Confederate general to urge Virginians to polls

Pro-Trump GOP state senator invokes Confederate general to urge Virginians to polls
Once revered across the south, statues of the Confederate general have been removed in recent years

A Republican Arizona state senator, who backed the pro-Trump bid to overturn the 2020 election in her state, has urged Virginians to head to the polls by invoking a Confederate general.

In a tweet on Tuesday morning, Wendy Rogers asked voters in Virginia to “Make General Lee proud” by voting for GOP gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin.

She wrote: “Good morning. Today is election day in Virginia. Check in if you already voted Republican. Also, if you have family and friends who haven’t voted, please send them a reminder via text or call. Let’s go Old Virginia! Make General Lee proud.”

Ms Rogers describes herself as a “conservative America first pro-Trump Republican”, as well as an “Air Force pilot, biz entrepreneur, homeschool mom”.

Robert E Lee was the overall commander of the Confederate States Army in the American Civil War.

He led the Army of Northern Virginia, revered as the Confederacy’s strongest, from 1862 until 1865 when it was all but destroyed, the state capital Richmond fell to Union, and he surrendered.

Lee nevertheless became a revered figure in the south long after his death, but in recent years statues and memorials dedicated to him have been removed by a number of cities in light of protests relating to the Black Lives Matter movement and Lee’s views on race and slavery.

Ms Rogers was especially vocal about decertifying the election result in her own state of Arizona in September, tweeting an impassioned plea to her fellow state senators that included a bizarre letter signed by “The American People”.

“The fate of the United States and the Republic for which it stands along with Freedom and Justice for All is on trial before the world,” says the letter. “The enormity of the decision that you are being tasked with rendering will ripple through the ages and may very well be viewed as a last nail in the coffin of the Idea of Government of the People and for the People and by the People that President Lincoln spoke about in the Gettysburg Address.”

The state senate has no powers to decertify the results of an election and was not in session at the time, so Ms Rogers’ pleas were doubly hollow.

Joe Biden won the state of Arizona in the November 2020 election with 1.67 million votes (49.36 per cent) over Donald Trump’s 1.66 million votes (49.06 per cent).

Arizona state senators ordered an audit of the state’s vote in a move that caused an outcry over its independence and divided local Republicans.

The preliminary report on the results of the contentious audit found no evidence of electoral fraud and the minor discrepancies it did uncover widened Mr Biden’s lead by 360 votes.