Virginia GOP Senate primary favorite Corey Stewart has not renounced calling Wisconsin congressional candidate Paul Nehlen one of his “personal heroes” in a December 2017 video, despite Nehlen’s subsequent emergence as a racist anti-Semite, The Weekly Standard reported Tuesday.
Nehlen has been banned from Twitter for racist and anti-Semitic tweets. His clashes with other white nationalists over strategy has even led him to be booted from the “alt-right” Twitter-esque service “Gab”.
But when the video of Stewart praising Nehlen surfaced on The Daily Mail Monday night, Stewart chose not to speak out against any of Nehlen’s views or past statements.
“Sadly it’s unsurprising to see the establishment Republicans continue to play the race card against President Trump’s most vocal supporters,” Stewart wrote in a statement to The Weekly Standard questioning his silence. He did not respond to a follow-up inquiry on whether he still considers Nehlen a “hero.”
While Stewart has previously appeared with Jason Kessler, an organizer of the Charlottesville “alt-right” rally, he ultimately disavowed Kessler’s views. He has also disavowed his own previous statements supporting birtherism, and, while outspoken against illegal immigration, has said that it “makes absolutely no difference” where people are immigrating from—a distinctive view in the face of alt-right opposition to Mexican immigration.
Stewart, currently the chairman-at-large of the Prince William County Board of supervisors, is the favorite in the Republican Senate primary on June 12, although Democratic senator Tim Kaine is expected to ultimately win the seat again.