- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 5, 2018

The pro-free market group Americans for Prosperity — a key part of the Koch brothers’ political network — announced Tuesday it’s endorsing state Del. Nick Freitas ahead of the June 12 U.S. Senate Republican primary contest in Virginia.

The group says it’s launching a digital ad campaign starting Tuesday, and will be tapping into thousands of activists and volunteers throughout the state to mobilize voters behind Mr. Freitas’ candidacy.

“As a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, Nick Freitas has been a strong voice for the people of Virginia. He has a record of supporting policies that promote freedom and empower people to improve their lives and communities,” said Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips. “We urge Virginians to support him.”

The influential group cited Mr. Freitas’ support of the federal tax law, his opposition to a state budget that paved the way for Medicaid expansion this year, and his highlighting the negative effects of tariffs on the economy as reasons for the public support.

Mr. Freitas is running against Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart and Chesapeake Bishop E.W. Jackson for the right to take on Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine in the fall.

What little public polling there’s been on the primary race has shown Mr. Stewart, who nearly won the Republican nomination for governor in Virginia last year, leading the way in terms of name identification among the three candidates, which could be crucial in what’s shaping up as a potentially low turnout affair next week.

Mr. Stewart has been pitching himself as the anti-establishment choice in the race, and as the candidate who will do the most to support President Trump’s agenda. He was fired as state chairman of the Trump campaign in 2016 for protesting the Republican National Committee in a move he says demonstrated his loyalty to the president.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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