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Republicans Respond to Corey Stewart Nomination

AP Photo / Steve Helber

Republicans are divided about the Senate candidate at the top of their ticket in Virginia this year.

Former Republican Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling says the nomination of Corey Stewart to be the party’s candidate to run against Tim Kaine is disappointing, adding that “this is not the Republican Party” he once knew.

Democratic strategist Ben Tribbett says Corey Stewart’s long history in Virginia politics is about to become part of the campaign.

“It’s a very long history of comments that are extremely racially insensitive. And I think that he is going to very much struggle, when the general electorate finds out more about him, to even get 40% of the vote.”

Almost immediately after Stewart secured the nomination Tuesday night, President Donald Trump offered a ringing endorsement of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors chairman, calling Kaine “a complete stiff.”

Republican strategist Dan Scandling says Democrats should take Stewart seriously.

“You can’t just dismiss him. He has been elected, and he’s definitely playing to where the strength of where the Republican Party is. But it’s one thing to win a primary. It’s another thing to win a statewide general election.”

For many years, the conservative wing of the party has been unhappy with the moderate tone of their statewide candidates. Now they have perhaps the most conservative choice possible, and someone closely aligned with President Trump.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.
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