AP NEWS

Glance: a look at Corey Stewart’s past

July 20, 2018

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — GOP Senate candidate Corey Stewart has frequently courted controversy during his political career. Here’s a sample of headline-grabbing moves Stewart has made:

-During the 2016 presidential campaign, Stewart is an early supporter of Donald Trump and is named Virginia chairman of the Trump campaign. After a leaked video shows Trump making lewd comments about women, Stewart blasts Republicans for showing insufficient support for their candidate. Stewart organizes an unauthorized protest outside the Republican National Committee’s headquarter, prompting the Trump campaign to fire him.

-When Stewart ran for Virginia governor in 2017, few thought he had any chance against former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie in the GOP primary. But Stewart almost won the primary by making the preservation of Confederate statues his central message. In particular, Stewart was an early and outspoken critic of Charlottesville’s plans to remove a state of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Stewart supporters would often wave Confederate flags at his rallies. Stewart, who was born in Minnesota, was widely mocked on social media after he wrote on twitter that “Nothing is worse than a Yankee telling a Southerner that his monuments don’t matter.”

-Earlier this year Stewart blasted Republican state lawmakers who support Medicaid expansion, a key part of former President Barack Obama’s healthcare law. Stewart held a news conference outside the Capitol where he compared the Republicans to toilet paper, called them “flaccid” and said he felt sorry for their wives. Republican Del. Glenn Davis later called Stewart a “charlatan” during a House floor speech.

-Stewart has been criticized for his past associations with right-wing blogger Jason Kessler, the major organizer of last year’s violent protests in Charlottesville, and Paul Nehlen, a Republican challenger to U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan who has been suspended from Twitter after a series of racist and anti-Semitic posts. Stewart has distanced himself from both men, saying he wasn’t fully aware of their views.

-Stewart first made a name for himself as the anti-illegal immigration hardliner chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors. Under Stewart’s leadership, the county implemented a local policy requiring police to determine the immigration status of all people arrested on suspicion of violating state or local laws. Following the 2010 death of a Catholic nun in a car accident involving a man in the country illegally and accused of drunken driving, Stewart issued a statement accusing Obama and others of having “blood on their hands.”