E.W. Jackson, the Christian activist who tried and failed in 2013 to become Virginia’s Lt. Governor, has now tried and failed to become the Republican challenger for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Tim Kaine.
He was crushed tonight by his two primary opponents, Corey Stewart (who won the primary) and Nick Freitas. Jackson only secured 12% of the vote while each of the other two men received more than 40% each.
That’s good news for the GOP, since there’s no way in hell they wanted Jackson on the ticket this November.
Just last month, Jackson told an audience that America has “never been” racist and blamed slavery on “Arab Muslims.” He also said NFL players who kneel during the National Anthem are traitors who needed to get out of the country. He said public schools needed to promote Christianity and that Christians who didn’t vote (presumably for people like him) were committing a “sin against God.”
Even in the age of Donald Trump, that’s a lot of batshit to deal with.
Instead of Jackson, the Republicans will have Corey Stewart on the ballot. But it’s not like they’re thrilled about that either.
Mr. Stewart, who has attacked illegal immigration in heated language and fiercely defended the state’s Confederate monuments, edged Nick Freitas, a conservative state legislator…
Mr. Stewart, who nearly seized the Republican nomination for governor last year, has savaged G.O.P. leaders in the state and has faced intense scrutiny for his associations with multiple white nationalist figures.
Yikes. Virginia Republicans thought Jackson was too extreme… and went with a guy who’s also too extreme. That’s one Senate race Democrats won’t have to worry about this November.
There’s also another benefit to Stewart’s Trumpiness.
Republicans feared that having Mr. Stewart as their nominee against Mr. Kaine, the former vice-presidential nominee, will spur moderate voters and women to desert the party in droves, imperiling several contested House seats in the state.
The crazier things Stewart says, the less motivated Republicans will be to vote in the midterms. And if they don’t vote, Democrats could have an edge in competitive House seats. Beautiful.
There’s an interesting story about these two candidates from last December, when the primary campaign was just beginning. Stewart, then campaigning for alleged child molester Roy Moore, was asked about Jackson and his frequently incendiary comments. Stewart wrote Jackson off as crazy. He said Jackson was “off his meds” and that he was “seriously worried about his mental health.”
Virginia Republicans may have taken that to heart tonight, but they voted for a guy whose own divisive remarks could be an incredible boost for Democrats across the state.