Fresh off a disastrous appearance on CNN, GOP Senate candidate Corey Stewart took to Twitter to claim his primary win as a mandate to “kick @timkaine’s teeth in.”
Stewart is the current chair of the Prince William Board of Supervisors, but has struggled to win office outside of his county. He notably lost the Republican primary for the office of Governor to Ed Gillespie in 2017 by a slim margin, which Gillespie supporters ascribed to Stewart’s caustic, aggressive tone. After his narrow victory in the Tuesday primary over Nick Freitas, Stewart seems to have doubled-down on the often violent rhetoric he employs on the campaign trail.
On a CNN appearance last night with Chris Cuomo, the candidate struggled to answer questions about his support for and from anti-semites and white supremacists. In 2017, he received an endorsement from Paul Nehlen, an anti-semite who Stewart described as “one of my personal heroes.” Although he tried to deflect when Cuomo asked him about Nehlen and other white supremacist supporters, Stewart eventually said, “I take support from whoever wants to give it to me. That doesn’t mean I support their views.”
After his failed GOP primary run for Governor last year, Stewart was singled out for praise by Steve Bannon, a one-time President Donald Trump advisor who associates with white supremacists under the title the “alt-right.” Bannon described Stewart as the “titular head of the Trump movement” in an interview with the Washington Post, where he maintained Stewart would have prevailed over Northam, and predicted he’d bring national attention to the race for Kaine’s Senate seat.
Northam had a different take on his victory that invoked both Michelle Obama’s “We go high” mantra and “The Virginia Way,” the idea that elections in the Commonwealth are won by candidates who maintain a positive image and platform. While Bannon’s prediction about national attention has come true, ultimately, it will be up to Virginia voters to decide between two candidates who for many exemplify opposite ends of the spectrum: Tim Kaine for Democrats and “The Virginia Way,” and Corey Stewart as a bellicose, Trumpian member of the GOP.
Photo from Corey Stewart FB