Virginia Senate candidates Kaine, Stewart meet for second debate
Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine and Republican Corey Stewart will meet in their second debate for the Virginia Senate race Wednesday evening. Kaine, the former governor of Virginia, was elected to the Senate in 2012. He was Hillary Clinton’s running mate in 2016.
Stewart unsuccessfully ran for the Republican nomination for governor in 2017. He is known for his controversial right-wing views, particularly on preserving Confederate monuments. In April 2017, he compared the removal of Confederate monuments to atrocities committed by the terrorist group ISIS in on Twitter.
After the deadly march by white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, Stewart refused to denounce participants at the rally, telling the Washington Post that politicians who did so “played right into the hands of the left wing.” He has also been associated with alt-right figures such as Paul Nehlen and Jason Kessler.
There is no love lost between Stewart and the state Republican Party — several Republican politicians have denounced Stewart and his campaign. A Republican state representative called Stewart a “charlatan” and a “demagogue” on the floor of the state House in February.
President Trump endorsed Stewart in June, after he won his primary. “Congratulations to Corey Stewart for his great victory for Senator from Virginia. Now he runs against a total stiff, Tim Kaine, who is weak on crime and borders, and wants to raise your taxes through the roof. Don’t underestimate Corey, a major chance of winning!” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter.
Kaine has led Stewart by wide margins in every major poll conducted since June. A University of Mary Washington poll from earlier this month showed Kaine with 52 percent support among likely voters, compared to 36 percent support for Stewart.
This is the second debate between Kaine and Stewart. The debate begins at 7 p.m. ET.
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