With a week until Election Day, Rep. Scott Taylor, R-Va., refused to answer whether he planned to vote for Corey Stewart, his party’s divisive nominee for Senate in Virginia.
When asked during a debate Tuesday if he would support Stewart, Taylor said, “I’m not going to be voting for Tim Kaine, that’s for sure,” referring to the Democratic incumbent and 2016 vice presidential nominee.
Taylor also referred back to an expletive-laden statement he gave The Virginian-Pilot in July, when he likewise didn’t say whether he would vote for Stewart.
“I don’t give a s— about Corey Stewart,” Taylor told the newspaper. “No one else does either except for Democrats who are trying to target me. … No one cares, except for a small teeny amount of people you met at the cupcake place. What are they trying to say? That Scott Taylor likes Corey Stewart so therefore he’s a racist? Do you think that’s going to play here?”
He said that he named his son after a “black guy” and, as a veteran, wasn’t concerned with race or sexual orientation.
“We don’t give a s— about where you come from,” he said.
Stewart, a Minnesota native and the chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, has embraced Confederate symbolism and made several appearances with a white supremacist who organized last year’s deadly far-right rally in Charlottesville.
Stewart also made a number of controversial remarks during his campaign. He argued against the notion that the Civil War was fought over slavery, referred to a Muslim candidate for governor in Michigan as an “ISIS commie” and made unsubstantiated claims that his opponent had been accused of sexual harassment.
Many Republicans across the state – and in the Senate – have distanced themselves from Stewart, refusing to campaign with him or offer their endorsements.
As Politico noted in June, the National Republican Senatorial Committee isn’t supporting Stewart. On the committee’s online map of this year’s Senate races, there is no mention of Stewart — just “VA Republican Challenger.”
Before Taylor gave his evasive answer on Stewart, he pressed his Democratic opponent, Elaine Luria, about whether she would vote for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., for speaker should Democrats win back the House.
“You didn’t answer if you’re going to support Nancy Pelosi for speaker yet, did you? You didn’t answer that,” Taylor said.
Luria replied that she could not say who she would vote for for Speaker, since she did not yet know who the candidates were.