RICHMOND, Va. -- In his third attempt at winning statewide office, Corey Stewart is the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate. Stewart has tied himself closely to President Donald Trump, and his opponents have pointed out his past interactions with white supremacists.
The lone statewide primary race on Tuesday, June 12, was the Republican senate contest. There were three candidates vying for the chance to challenge Senator Tim Kaine for his seat.
Former gubernatorial hopeful Corey Stewart defeated State delegate Nick Freitas by less than 2 percent of the vote, according to the Washington Post. Minister E.W. Jackson finished in last place with 12 percent of the vote.
Political analysts viewed Stewart and Freitas as the front runners.
Stewart has promised a "vicious" campaign against Kaine.
“I’m going to go after him [Tim Kaine] very, very hard. It’s going to be a very vicious, ruthless race,” he said when he announced his candidacy.
"Virginians can chose to roll back the tax cuts like Tim Kaine wants to. Or we can support President Trump and makes the tax cuts permanent and make them even deeper!" Stewart told a crowd of supporters after securing the Republican nomination.
Kaine responded to Stewart's win Tuesday night saying he would be "an embarrassment for Virginia in the U.S. Senate."
Here's his full statement:
"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. In sharp contrast, Tim Kaine is fighting to make Virginia and our country work for all, where good jobs, health care and education are available to everyone and all people are treated with dignity and respect. That’s the choice voters face in November and we will keep working hard in every corner of Virginia to win voters' support."
Stewart said in a CBS 6 interview that the 2018 election is about legislators who will stand with President Trump, as he pledged to do. Stewart said he expected immigration and healthcare to be major issues in this campaign.
"I'm a strong supporter of the President. We going to have a U.S. Senator that's going to work with President Trump to bring job back into Virginia, to rebuild the military, make sure those jobs are coming into the Commonwealth on Virginia," said Stewart.
Senator Kaine brings the advantage of incumbency, popularity both in Virginia and nationally, and the fact that a Republican has not won statewide office in Virginia since 2009.