Koch group won't back Stewart in Virginia

The conservative group Americans for Prosperity will not back Republican nominee Corey Stewart in the Virginia Senate race this November. 

The Associated Press reported Monday that the group, the political arm of the network founded by GOP mega-donors Charles and David Koch, will sit out Stewart’s effort to defeat incumbent Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Senate panel passes amendment to bar using troops against protesters Defense bill turns into proxy battle over Floyd protests MORE (D-Va.). Stewart has faced scrutiny for his ties to white nationalists.

Stewart won the GOP primary in Virginia last week, narrowly edging out the more moderate state Del. Nick Freitas.

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Americans for Prosperity provided financial support to Stewart’s opponents during his unsuccessful run in last year’s Republican primary for governor.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee has also said it has no plans to endorse Stewart.

Despite those groups rejecting Stewart, President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE has offered his support. He congratulated Stewart on his primary win while slamming Kaine, who served as running mate to former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House accuses Biden of pushing ‘conspiracy theories’ with Trump election claim Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton qualifies to run for county commissioner in Florida MORE.

“Congratulations to Corey Stewart for his great victory for Senator from Virginia,” Trump tweeted. “Now he runs against a total stiff, Tim Kaine, who is weak on crime and borders, and wants to raise your taxes through the roof. Don’t underestimate Corey, a major chance of winning!”

Stewart has aligned himself closely with Trump on the campaign trail. He has also garnered support from noted white nationalists.

After his primary win, Stewart told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that he does not agree with racist or anti-Semitic views, but did not disavow the support of individuals who hold those beliefs.

“I take support from whoever wants to give it to me. That does not mean I support their views,” Stewart said. “I do not want to have anything to do with anyone who is racist and bigoted or anti-Semitic.”

– Updated June 20 at 10:38 a.m.

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