A Trump-Loving Confederate Sympathizer Nearly Pulled Off a Huge Upset in Virginia

Ed Gillespie narrowly defeats Corey Stewart in the Republican gubernatorial primary.

Civil War re-enactors (above). Corey Stewart (not pictured) stoked controversy in the Virginia GOP primary by opposing the removal or Confederate monuments.m01229/Flickr

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

And that’s why they call it the Lost Cause.

Corey Stewart, a Minnesota-born lawyer with a soft spot for the Confederacy, nearly pulled off a stunning upset in Tuesday’s Republican primary for governor of Virginia. But lobbyist and former  former Republican National Committee chair Ed Gillespie, the party’s 2014 nominee for US Senate, held on by the narrowest of margins. With 99 percent of precincts reporting Gillespie just barely ahead of the one-percent threshold needed to avoid a recount.

Stewart had been a co-chair of President Donald Trump’s Virginia campaign. He struggled to gain traction through most of the gubernatorial raced but seized on the removal of Confederate and white-supremacist monuments in New Orleans this spring, promising to protect Virginia’s Confederate statues if he was elected governor.

It almost worked. By the end of the campaign, “Establishment Ed” was likewise reportedly running digital ads talking up his support for the monuments.

Gillespie will face Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam in November, in what is likely to be the most-watched contest of the 2017 election season. He’ll have his work cut for him; Democratic turnout exceeded Republican turnout in Tuesday’s primary by roughly 150,000 votes.

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate