Trump ally wins right to take on Sen. Tim Kaine in Virginia

By Gregory S. Schneider | The Washington Post

Virginia Republicans turned bright red Tuesday, selecting the more-Trump-than-Trump Corey Stewart as their nominee to challenge Democratic incumbent Tim Kaine for U.S. Senate as primary elections played out in congressional districts across the state.

The matchup ensures Virginia will keep re-litigating the 2016 presidential race in this fall’s election, with Stewart running in outrageous Trump-like fashion against Kaine, who was Hillary Clinton’s running mate in her failed bid for the presidency.

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Republican voters preferred Stewart, who has promised a “vicious” campaign, over a more mainstream option in Del. Nick Freitas, R-Culpeper, a former Green Beret who had support from the party establishment.

Freitas posted a surprisingly strong challenge, with the lead tipping back and forth until the final precincts reported at nearly 9 p.m. and populous Fairfax County put Stewart over the top. Stewart prevailed with about 45 percent of the vote to about 43 percent for Freitas.

Stewart’s presence atop the ticket will cast a shadow over all Virginia congressional races this year. He’s sure to excite the most fervent parts of the Republican base, especially in rural areas, but his identification with Donald Trump also is likely to inspire Democratic voters to come out against him.

At Stewart’s election night party at the Electric Palm Restaurant, overlooking the Occoquan River in Woodbridge, supporters erupted in cheers when he was projected the winner.

The crowd chanted “Corey! Corey!” as the loudspeaker blared “Sweet Home Alabama.”

“It’s definitely a positive for Virginia,” said Jan Hall, who drove to the party from Midlothian. “I’ve been a supporter of Trump all along, and Corey is on his side. I’m so glad Virginia is staying red.”

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Source:: The Mercury News – Politics


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