Former Virginia gubernatorial candidate Corey Stewart has announced that he will be running for Senate in 2018. Stewart was narrowly defeated in Virginia's Republican gubernatorial primary by Ed Gillespie last month, in what was considered to be a shockingly close result. Stewart will be running for the seat currently occupied by former Hillary Clinton running mate Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA).
In a statement, Stewart said that he was going to run a "very vicious and ruthless" campaign against Kaine, "the type of campaign we haven't seen in Virginia in a generation."
“I’m going to run a very vicious and ruthless campaign against Tim Kaine and I’m going to win,” said Stewart, who planned to announce his intentions at a news conference scheduled for Thursday morning at his Woodbridge home. “No holds barred. The type of campaign we haven’t seen in Virginia in a generation.”
Stewart is the first Republican to officially declare that they are running, but Carly Fiorina and Laura Ingraham have both said that they're musing over the idea of challenging Kaine. During the primary campaign, Stewart generated significant controversy over his defense of Confederate monuments and statues. He also displayed Confederate flags at rallies and referred to himself as “Trump before Trump was Trump.” A large segment of his support comes from people who are dissatisfied with the current GOP status quo.
Kaine defeated Republican George Allen by five points in 2012.