Prince William County Chairman Corey Stewart, left, lent his endorsement to George Allen's candidacy for Senate in 2012.
Prince William County Chairman Corey Stewart lent his endorsement to the candidacy of George Allen for Senate in 2012 at a press conference Tuesday, a significant move from an area Republican who once questioned Allen's conservative credentials.
Standing shoulder to shoulder with the former governor outside Prince William board chambers, Stewart took back an accusation he leveled earlier this year that George Allen had lost his way during his last stint as a U.S. Senator. "I would have to say that I retract that statement, and I would have to say that he had a very good Senate record," Stewart said Nov. 1.
"It is important, it is critical, that we move into that election a week from today, as a unified party in Prince William County and throughout the state," said Stewart.He says Republican victories in those elections will also help Allen take the seat Democratic Senator Jim Webb is vacating in 2012.
Stewart has served on the Prince William County Board since 2003, and as its chairman since 2006. He was once thought to be a possible challenger for Republican nomination for next year's Senate race. Stewart opted instead to focus on his own reelection for County Supervisor this fall, and he says next week's vote is a big reason he's announcing his support for Allen now.
Stewart has emerged as an outspoken conservative voice in Virginia on issues such as immigration policy and government spending, and has become a darling of the Tea Party. It's a constituency George Allen would like to win over.
"His endorsement is significant, really important," says Allen. "And also Prince William County is also significant and important in any statewide election."
Stewart could have chosen to endorse one of other candidates for Senate more closely aligned with the Tea Party movement, but he says Allen gives Republicans the best chance to get things done while in office.
And those other candidates, as fine as they are, and as conservative as they say they are, they really have no track record. Tea Party activist Jamie Radtke, Bishop E.W. Jackson, and David McCormick all remain in the race trying to prove Stewart wrong.