Corey Stewart stays in race for governor

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - Corey Stewart is not dropping out of the Virginia race for governor.

There were reports the Republican would bow out Monday night. Instead, during a Facebook live, Stewart announced all the things he denounces.

The list ranged from bigots to hypocrites, sanctuary cities, and several Virginia lawmakers.

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Stewart started with fake news “like the Washington Post,” he said to a crowd of cheering supporters. Stewart said the newspaper lied to Virginians and used political correctness “as a weapon to shame, to ridicule, and to silence Americans.”

The gubernatorial candidate then added rival Ed Gillespie to his list, calling him a “weak establishment Republican.”

Stewart said Gillespie refuses to stand up for life, the second amendment, heritage, and President Donald Trump.

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Gillespie has a big lead in the latest Washington Post poll. Stewart came in second, with Sen. Frank Wagner, of Virginia Beach, in third. The Commonwealth will go to the polls for the gubernatorial primary on June 13.

Stewart then turned his attention to current Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, which got a big round of applause from the crowd. He said Gov. McAuliffe isn’t doing enough to keep jobs from leaving the Commonwealth.

“Let’s take back Virginia!” he said at the end of his Facebook Live speech.

Two items not on Stewart's denouncement list: Richard Spencer and a Confederate protest over a Robert E. Lee statue.

Stewart has led his own protest at the same statue. But this weekend’s protest has drawn fire from Republican leaders. The protest included Spencer, a well-known white nationalist, and featured torches and chants of "you will not replace us" said CBS Charlottesville affiliate WCAV-TV.

RELATED: Va. mayor: Torchlit rally at Robert E. Lee statue evokes 'days of KKK'

"We will not be replaced from this park," Spencer told the crowd at an earlier rally on Saturday. "We will not be replaced from this world. Whites have a future. We have a future of power, of beauty, of expression," he said, according to the Washington Post.

Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer condemned the protest saying in a statement that it harkened “back to the days of the KKK."

"I want everyone to know this: We reject this intimidation," Signer said in the statement. "We are a welcoming city, but such intolerance is not welcome here."

Erich Reimer, chairman of the Charlottesville Republican Party, said in a statement that the "intolerance and hatred" that the protesters are seeking to promote is "utterly disgusting and disturbing beyond words," The Daily Progress newspaper reported.

Political operatives said Stewart must decide whether to disavow Spencer and the rhetoric that emerged at the protest, or embrace it and leave the governor’s race.

Stewart’s decision may come down to money.  He has been struggling in fundraising  against establishment candidate Ed Gillespie who has raised $3,795,776 compared to Stewart’s $811,327, according to the Virginia Public Action Project, VPAP.org. The third GOP candidate for governor, Frank Wagner, has raised $510,808 to date.

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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