Photo: Virginia House GOP

A likely Republican candidate for Governor next year is criticizing Governor Northam’s latest COVID-19 restrictions that take effect midnight Sunday. Delegate Kirk Cox, a former Speaker of the House, says Northam’s announcement comes just days after saying he would not impose any new restrictions, and he did so late on a Friday afternoon without holding a news conference or answering questions. Cox called it a “ham-handed” announcement and a “serious failure to lead”.

NEWS RELEASE: COLONIAL HEIGHTS — Delegate Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) released the following statement on the new COVID-19 restrictions announced by Governor Ralph Northam via video late Friday afternoon.

“Late this afternoon, Governor Ralph Northam announced new COVID-19 restrictions. The Governor expanded his mask mandate and lowered the limit on in-person gatherings to 25 people.

“The Governor made this announcement just days after telling the public he would not impose any new restrictions in Virginia. And he did it late on a Friday afternoon without holding a press conference or answering any questions. At the time of his announcement, a copy of his new executive order was not even available for the public to review.

“This is exactly the kind of ham-handed announcement we’ve come to expect from this administration. Governor Northam seems to change his mind more than a kid in the candy aisle. It is yet another serious failure to lead at a time when Virginia desperately needs steady guidance.”