After a razor-thin victory in the Republican primary, Corey Stewart will face Sen. Tim Kaine this November. Unlike Rep. David Brat and other Tea Party candidates, Stewart won’t have the backing of the Koch Brothers’ well-funded political action committee, Americans For Prosperity.
The libertarian group will not run ads or deploy staff for Stewart, who has come under fire for his close associations with figures like white nationalist Jason Kessler and Paul Nehlen, an avowed anti-Semite and white supremacist running for Congress in Wisconsin. Stewart’s main policy issues seem to be preserving monuments to the Confederacy and restricting immigration.
In a statement to the Washington Post, Americans For Prosperity State Director JC Hernandez said, “We will continue to stand with those who support policies that will enable people to improve their lives and communities.” AFP supported Stewart’s primary opponent, Nick Freitas, and seemed to take issue with Stewart’s racist, often violent campaign rhetoric, such as a post-victory declaration that he’d “kick [Tim Kaine’s] teeth in.”
Senate Republicans are also avoiding Stewart. The National Republican Senatorial Committee has not endorsed Stewart, and Chairman Cory Gardner said there are “no plans” to support him, according to Politico.
If Stewart can’t attract traditional or Tea Party donors, it’ll be a major challenge for a candidate who modeled his run after the campaign of President Donald Trump. Nationwide, the race is seen as significant for its matchup of Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s running mate, and Stewart, a pro-Trump Republican endorsed by white nationalist Stephen Bannon.