Corey Stewart, former chairman of President Donald Trump’s campaign in Virginia, on Thursday became the first Republican to announce a challenge to Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s running mate last year.
Stewart ran for the GOP nod for governor earlier this year, losing a closer-than-expected primary to former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie by just 1 point.
Stewart, the at-large chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, ran a provocative gubernatorial campaign, opposing efforts to remove Confederate monuments in Virginia and embracing the Confederate flag.
“I don't see it as a symbol of hate at all,” he said in February, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Stewart chaired Trump’s campaign in Virginia until he was fired for protesting outside the RNC headquarters in Washington last fall.
Kaine, a onetime Virginia governor, is in his first term as a senator. He won election in 2012 by nearly 6 points.