Corey Stewart will not run for reelection in Virginia, leaving politics

Republican Corey Stewart, a former Senate and gubernatorial candidate in Virginia who was an outspoken defender of Confederate monuments, said he’s leaving politics “for the foreseeable future,” according to The Washington Post.

Stewart told the Post in an interview published Tuesday that he won’t run for reelection after serving as Prince William Board of County Supervisors for 15 years. He said he’ll now focus on his international trade law practice as well as helping with his wife’s business goals.

He’ll make his official announcement that he won’t seek a fourth term Tuesday afternoon during his state-of-the-county address.

Stewart told the Post he doesn’t plan to reenter the political arena “until and unless the Commonwealth is ready for my views on things, and that’s not right now, clearly.”

“Politics sucks,” Stewart said in his interview with the Post. “On a personal level, it’s been a disaster.”

Stewart lost Virginia’s 2018 Senate race to Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineDemocrats brace for nail-biting finish to Senate battle Democratic Senate emerges as possible hurdle for progressives  Two Loeffler staffers test positive for COVID-19 MORE (D-Va.) by double digits last November.

Stewart also ran for the GOP nomination in Virginia’s 2017 gubernatorial race, coming unexpectedly close to defeating establishment favorite Ed Gillespie.

Gillespie, a former chair of the Republican National Committee, went on to lose to now-Gov. Ralph Northam (D) in the 2017 general election — an election cycle where Democrats won the governor’s mansion and swept more than a dozen state legislative seats.

Stewart has been a close ally of President TrumpDonald John TrumpHillary Clinton responds to Chrissy Teigen tweet: 'I love you back' Police called after Florida moms refuse to wear face masks at school board meeting about mask policy Supreme Court rejects Trump effort to shorten North Carolina mail-ballot deadline MORE and served as the co-chairman of Trump’s Virginia campaign in 2016. He’s also been a long-time opponent and frequently rails against illegal immigration.

The Virginia Republican said he’s started to discuss with the Trump administration a potential job in the White House in the arena of international trade, but “the problem with these jobs is they don’t pay very much.”

And during his Senate race in 2018, Stewart earned scrutiny over accusations of his ties to white nationalists. He reportedly fired a top aide who helped bring far-right ideas to his campaign. But he denies holding those kinds of views.

“If you look at my record, find something that I said that was racist, or bigoted or anti-Semitic. You’re not going to find it,” Stewart said.