- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 13, 2017

Corey Stewart vowed Thursday to run a “vicious” campaign as he announced he will seek to unseat Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine in the 2018 midterm election.

Fresh off his narrow loss in last month’s GOP gubernatorial race in Virginia, Mr. Stewart, chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, said he plans to run a Trump-style campaign against Mr. Kaine, making immigration a major issue.

“I am going to run the most vicious, ruthless, campaign to dethrone Tim Kaine for the United States Senate,” Mr. Stewart said, with his wife, Maria, standing at his side. “It is time Republicans take back that seat. It is time we have a United States senator that is going to support the president.”

Attention now turns to Mr. Stewart’s possible GOP rivals. Conservative radio talk show host Laura Ingraham and 2016 GOP presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina are said to be looking at the race.

Frank Sadler, a Fiorina spokesman, said the former Hewlett-Packard CEO is focused right now on doing everything she can to get Ed Gillespie, the man who bested Mr. Stewart in the gubernatorial primary last month, elected in November. He said she will likely make a decision on her political future in the fall.

“She really doesn’t want to do anything, especially right now, to take any attention away from those wonderful people and the campaigns they want to run,” Mr. Sadler said.

Mr. Stewart took a different approach Thursday, announcing his bid a month after losing the primary against Mr. Gillespie.

“These last four weeks have been excruciating for me,” he said. “Being outside of the ring is painful. I need to be back in.”

Mr. Stewart said he supports Mr. Gillespie, but has not officially endorsed him.

“Ed hasn’t asked me for his help, but when he does, I will be there to help him,” he said.

The 48-year-old said he plans to push the GOP further to the right and said he is cut from the same legislative cloth as Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah.

He repeatedly cast himself as a fighter, and said he was disgusted when former President George H.W. Bush ran on a “kinder, gentler” platform in 1988.

“I think that Republicans have been playing by the Marquis of Queensberry rules for too long and the Democrats have been fighting a UFC fight,” he said.

Mr. Kaine was elected to the Senate in 2013 and served as Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s running mate during her failed bid for the White House last year.

Mr. Kaine also served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee under President Obama and as the 70th governor of Virginia from 2006 to 2010. Before that he served as lieutenant governor and mayor of Richmond.

Mr. Stewart, meanwhile, built his national profile on his aggressive 2007 crackdown on immigration in the Washington suburbs.

In 2013, he unsuccessfully ran for the GOP nomination for lieutenant governor and went on to serve as chairman of Trump’s Virginia operation.

But he got fired over a dust-up with the Republican National Committee, which he said showed his loyalty to Mr. Trump. Others viewed it as publicity stunt aimed at bolstering his statewide image.

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