A brash US Republican contender for governor who bills herself as “Trump in heels” has called on Donald Trump to declare martial law to prevent his removal from office.

A day after the electoral college formally confirmed former vice president Joe Biden’s victory over Trump, Virginia state senator Amanda Chase doubled down on baseless allegations of election fraud in an early-morning Facebook post.

“Not my President and never will be,” she wrote, referring to Biden.

“The American people aren’t fools. We know you cheated to win and we’ll never accept these results. Fair elections we can accept but cheating to win; never. It’s not over yet. So thankful President Trump has a backbone and refuses to concede.

“President Trump should declare martial law as recommended by General Flynn.”

Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser pardoned by the president, recently shared a Twitter post advocating the president “temporarily suspend the Constitution” and declare martial law.

In an interview Tuesday, Chase said she was holding out hope Trump somehow would be declared the winner when the electoral college ballots are formally counted early in the new year – an all-but-impossible outcome.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday (NZT) publicly acknowledged Biden’s victory for the first time since the election. Barring that extremely unlikely turn of events, Chase thinks martial law is in order.

Under martial law, she said, troops would “go and seize these [voting] machines and voting equipment to find the voter fraud. There needs to be a national audit.”

Chase’s call for martial law drew rebukes from a few prominent Virginia Republicans, including an outgoing member of Congress, a former member and a former state delegate, the last of whom called on members of the state Senate to expel her.

 Other party figures, including her lone rival for the GOP nomination, were mum.

Democrats did not hold back. “I served with [Amanda Chase] in the state senate – she was as unhinged then as she is now,” tweeted Democratic Representative Jennifer Wexton of Virginia said.

“This is a good reminder that we don’t allow tyrants here in the Commonwealth.”

Under martial law, the US military takes control of civilian functions, such as law enforcement and the courts.

Federal and state authorities have declared martial law at least 68 times since the nation’s founding, in times of war, invasion, insurrection, civil unrest, labour disputes and natural disasters, according to a Brennan Centre for Justice report on the legal concept.

The report, issued in August, says the Supreme Court has “never clearly indicated whether the president could unilaterally declare martial law or if Congress would first need to authorise it”.

The report concludes the president lacks that power but says state officials have it, subject to review in federal court.

Chase’s candidacy poses an awkward challenge for the Republican Party, which hasn’t won a statewide election since 2009.

Trump, who lost the state last month by 10 points, has repelled Virginia’s suburban swing voters, but he remains highly popular with the party’s base.

Some Republican leaders fear Chase could tap into Trumpism to win the party’s nomination but fail in the general election. Chase quit the caucus last year.

Outgoing state senator Denver Riggleman, increasingly at odds with his party over its refusal to denounce conspiracy theories, criticised Chase on Twitter.

“Do you support facts and liberty? Or supporting martial law based on unhinged conspiracy ramblings … ?” wrote Riggleman, one of several Republicans who have been publicly considering entering the governor’s race.

Former congresswoman Barbara Comstock, a moderate Republican who lost her Northern Virginia seat to Wexton in 2018 amid an anti-Trump blue wave, retweeted Chase’s post with a scathing retort: “This is someone who will never be ‘my’ Governor or Virginia’s Governor”.

David Ramadan, a former Republican delegate, went further, calling on the Senate to expel Chase.

A senator since 2016, Chase has been at odds with her own party’s leaders for cursing out a Capitol Police officer over a parking spot and claiming on Facebook Virginia Democrats “hate white people”.

With an AR-15 strapped across her chest, Chase appeared at a gun rights rally in July with “boogaloo boys,” a far-right anti-government group pushing for a second civil war.