Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart on Tuesday rode a pro-Trump message to narrowly win the Republican U.S. Senate nomination in Virginia, beating back a furious challenge from state Del. Nick Freitas.
“Virginia has a choice: Virginia can choose to continue with the prosperity and the progress of America under President Trump, or it can choose the past, with everything we know that has failed, and that’s Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Tim Kaine,” Mr. Stewart said at his election night party Tuesday evening.
The mention of Mrs. Clinton prompted a “lock her up” chant — a fixture at Trump campaign rallies in 2016.
“That might just happen, by the way,” Mr. Stewart said. “And Timmy, too. Oh, we’re going to have a lot of fun between now and November.”
He touted his county’s strict crackdown on illegal immigration, and also continued to highlight preserving Virginia’s Confederate monuments and historical statues as a key part of his campaign message.
Mr. Freitas, a state delegate from Culpepper, had attracted support from a number of Republican elected officials in the state, as well as national conservative figures like Sen. Rand Paul and Mike Lee, but it wasn’t enough.
During the campaign’s closing stretch, Mr. Freitas had also raised questions about Mr. Stewart’s past ties to Paul Nehlen, a past GOP challenger to Speaker Paul D. Ryan who has come under fire for anti-Semitic and racially-tinged postings online, as well as Jason Kessler, one of the organizers of last August’s “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville.
Mr. Stewart, meanwhile, pushed back, saying he doesn’t want anything to do with anybody who has racist views but that he’s not going to apologize for every “lunatic” that’s out there.
“A cruder imitation of Donald Trump who stokes white supremacy and brags about being ‘ruthless and vicious,’ Corey Stewart would be an embarrassment for Virginia in the U.S. Senate, where he would eliminate health care for millions of Americans and slash public education funding,” said Kaine campaign spokesman Ian Sams.
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