Stewart narrowly wins senatorial primary to challenge Kaine in November

Several independent election forecasters believe Kaine will win reelection

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At a debate, Del. Nick Freitas (left), Republican nominee for U.S. Senate Corey Stewart (center) and pastor E.W. Jackson (right). Cassandra Plemons | Cavalier Daily

Corey Stewart — the chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors and a one-time gubernatorial candidate — was declared the Republican nominee Tuesday night in the race for a Virginia seat in the U.S. Senate which will take place in November. Stewart narrowly beat Del. Nick Freitas (R-Culpeper) in the statewide primary, while pastor E.W. Jackson earned a significantly lower share of the vote. 

After the majority of precincts had reported their results, Freitas conceded, telling supporters the campaign has momentum and that “it doesn’t end here,” giving a nod to Denver Riggleman, the Republican nominee for Virginia’s fifth congressional district.

In November, Stewart will challenge Democratic incumbent Sen. Tim Kaine — a former vice presidential candidate, Virginia governor, Richmond mayor and Democratic National Committee chairman — who has held the seat since 2012. 

The Cook Political Report, an independent election analysis firm, says the race is “Solid Democrat,” meaning the race will likely lean strongly towards Kaine. Sabato’s Crystal Ball, an election analysis group based at the University, has the same prediction.

Stewart has come under fire for his affiliation with white nationalist movements. During his campaign for Republican nominee for governor last summer, he attended a news conference with Unite the Right rally organizer Jason Kessler. He also appeared with Paul Nehlen, a Wisconsin candidate for Congress who openly professes white nationalist views.

After backlash from both Democrats and Republican opponents, Stewart disavowed both men.

In a statement, Kaine called Stewart "a cruder imitation of Donald Trump who stokes white supremacy and brags about being 'ruthless and vicious.'”

Stewart’s campaign could not be reached immediately for comment.

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