Modern-day champion of the Confederacy Corey Stewart won the Republican Senate nomination in Virginia and will run against Democratic incumbent Sen. Tim Kaine in the midterm elections.

Stewart, who is a member of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, defeated minister E.W. Jackson and state House member Nick Freitas in Tuesday’s primary. Republicans immediately expressed distress over how Stewart’s nomination could damage the party and its candidates. Former Virginia Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling tweeted that he was “extremely disappointed” someone like Stewart could win the Republican nomination. Bolling felt that he no longer knew the party.

Republican strategist Brian Walsh tweeted that he did not care to see the ways Stewart would offend others and embarrass himself in the coming months and wished to acknowledge that Kaine will win the election. Kaine was the 2016 Democratic vice presidential nominee and the heavy favorite for November’s election.

Stewart worked as the Virginia chairman of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign for several months in 2016. He was later fired for protesting outside of the Republican National Committee. Stewart began his Senate campaign after being defeated by former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie but winning 42.5% in last year’s gubernatorial primary.

Stewart centered his campaign around the push to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee from Charlottesville, holding rallies full of Confederate flags and supporting “heritage.” According to CNN, Stewart went to an Old South Ball and attended a news conference with the leader of the white supremacist protest that killed a counter-protester in Charlottesville. Stewart blamed the death of Heather Heyer, the counter-protester, on “violence on both sides,” much like the president.

Although conservatives forces such as the Koch brothers-backed group Americans for Prosperity and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Utah Sen. Mike Lee reportedly invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into trying to keep Stewart off the statewide ballot, Stewart ultimately won.  

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