VA-Sen (R): And there we go! The AP calls it for Corey Stewart, who currently has a 44.7 to 43.3 lead on Nick Freitas. Stewart is an ardent lover of the Confederacy (despite having been born in Minnesota) who will prove to be a tremendous embarrassment for the GOP in Virginia, which has been trending toward Democrats for years. Much as Ed Gillespie’s racist campaign for governor did last year, Stewart can only help drive disgusted suburbanites away from the GOP.
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Corey Stewart, Confederate symbols defender, wins GOP nomination in Virginia Senate race
Corey Stewart, the bombastic conservative who built his public image on championing Confederate symbols, won the Republican Senate nomination in Virginia.
Stewart, a member of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, defeated state House member Nick Freitas and minister E.W. Jackson in Tuesday's primary. Freitas conceded the race Tuesday night, according to local media. He now faces Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine, the party's 2016 vice presidential nominee and a heavy favorite for re-election, in November's midterm election.
Stewart launched his Senate campaign after surprising -- and alarming -- national Republicans by winning 42.5% in last year's gubernatorial primary against former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie.
He made Charlottesville's push to remove its statue of Robert E. Lee the centerpiece of his campaign for governor, holding rallies for the monument and displaying Confederate flags while defending "heritage" at his events. At one point, he attended an Old South ball. He attended a news conference with the leader of the white supremacist protest that later resulted in the death of a counter-protester in Charlottesville. And after that counter-protester, Heather Heyer, was killed in a hit-and-run, Stewart blamed the violence on "both sides."