Virginia GOP chairman resigns following controversial Senate nominee’s campaign success

The chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia resigned on Saturday, just weeks after Corey Stewart (R) won the party’s nomination to take on Sen. Tim Kaine (D) in this year’s Senate race. 

“Other political opportunities have arisen for me that I am thinking about pursuing,” John Whitbeck announced this weekend, according to The Washington Post.

The Post noted that Whitbeck’s resignation may indicate that he doesn’t want to answer for Stewart over the next few months as midterm elections near. 

{mosads}Stewart, who received support from President Trump, is known for his controversial views, including his defense of Confederate monuments. He previously made a failed bid for Virginia governor, basing much of his 2017 campaign on preserving Confederate statues.

Stewart has also said that he was “Trump before Trump.”

The Republican National Committee has not said whether it would support Stewart in his Senate campaign against Kaine. 

The National Republican Senatorial Committee, the party’s Senate campaign arm, did not endorse Stewart

When asked by the Post last week about offering his support for Stewart, Whitbeck said “the party supports all nominees.”

Whitbeck’s decision comes after two leaders in the Virginia Republican Party stepped down from their roles following Stewart’s victory. 

Kevin Gentry, vice president for special projects and development at Koch Industries, resigned from his job on the executive committee of the party’s governing board. Davis Rennolds resigned from his position as Richmond GOP Chairman. 

“I served since 1992, and it’s time for some new blood and new perspectives,” Gentry said. 

Kaine is a heavy favorite to maintain his seat. A Quinnipiac University survey from June 26 found that Kaine leads Stewart by 18 points.  

Tags Donald Trump Tim Kaine

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