An influential Virginia sheriff has rejected a request from Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration to enforce the business lockdown in parts of northern Virginia.

Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Jenkins said that he and other law enforcement were contacted to help enforce the closures in the area that reaches into northern Virginia’s Prince William County, which is home to many federal workers.

But the sheriff, who has advised the White House and vowed to fight proposed gun grabs from state Democrats, said that he will not help enforce Northam’s Executive Order #61 that maintains the weekslong economic shutdown.

In a Facebook message, he said: “Heads of law-enforcement agencies in the Rappahannock Rapidan Health District were contacted today by the district health director, Dr. Wade Kartchner. The purpose was to request assistance on enforcement of Governor Northam‘s Executive Order 61.”

“My response to that request is that we will not trample the constitutional freedoms of our citizens to enforce an edict of the governor,” he continued. “I do not speak for any of the other jurisdictions in the health district. Sheriff Scott Jenkins.”

His decision was mostly cheered in the comments. One said, “I love my sheriff!! The governor is not a dictator!! He cannot take away our constitutional freedoms just because he’s been paid to see how far he can push us.”

Virginia has been singled out by Trump for moving too slow to reopen the economy. Northam recently said he would free up his stay-at-home restrictions, but some northern Virginia counties asked to keep the rules in place due to concerns that the coronavirus hasn’t leveled off.

Northam granted that request in his executive order.

In it, he closed all nonessential businesses in northern Virginia to May 28, well past the May 15 opening in other parts of the state, where the pandemic hasn’t been as bad.




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