RICHMOND, Va. (CN) – It was a photo finish, but firebrand conservative Corey Stewart has won his first state-wide primary and has become Virginia’s Republican candidate for Senate against incumbent Tim Kaine in this year’s midterm election.
It took almost two hours, and came down to a few thousand votes, but Stewart, Chairman of The Prince William County Board of Supervisors in Northern Virginia, beat out state Delegate Nick Freitas to take the GOP nomination.
Stewart is known for his fierce and combative campaign style and famously got kicked off Donald Trump’s Virginia campaign in 2016 when he held a protest at the Republican National Committee headquarters for not supporting Trump enough. He lost his bid for Governor last year when he failed to overtake party-favorite Ed Gillespie. Gillespie later lost to Democrat Ralph Northam in the general election.
Republicans haven’t won a state-wide race in Virginia in nearly a decade and Kaine is considered deeply popular in a state that continues to have high unfavorables for President Trump.
Other notable races include three Democratic primaries for Virginia congressional seats.
Former Obama State Department official Dan Ward conceded to former CIA agent Abigail Spanberger early in the evening as about 70% of the votes came in from Virginia’s 7th District. Spanberger will challenge incumbent Republican Dave Brat, an economics professor and tea party member who won his seat in 2014 with help from former Trump aide Steve Bannon.
Virginia’s 2nd District will feature two Navy veterans going head-to-head in the general election. Incumbent Scott Taylor, one of the youngest GOP members of Congress who was seen as a more moderate Republican, will face Navy vet Elaine Luria. Taylor’s seat, much like Brat’s, is considered flippable going into November.
And in Virginia’s 10th District, long time state Senator Jennifer Wexton will take on incumbent Republican Barbara Comstock. While Comstock has tried to distance herself from Trump in the days leading up to Tuesday’s primary, her voting record, and the so-called “blue wave” have put her at the top of Virginia’s possibly flippable seats.