RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Republican candidate for governor in Virginia is telling conservative activists they need to stand up against the "twisted mindset" of the hate groups that were part of a deadly rally a week ago in Charlottesville.

Ed Gillespie made the remarks Saturday in Richmond at a summit hosted by Americans for Prosperity. It's his first major speech since last week's violence.

The Republican nominee for governor has taken fire from Democrats for not specifically condemning racially fraught comments made by President Donald Trump following the Charlottesville rally, in which woman was killed after a car plowed into a group of protestors.

Gillespie did not mention Trump by name during his speech Saturday, but said it was important for conservatives to reject the "evil" that the hate groups represent.