State Republican Chair Resigns

Jul 2, 2018

Virginia Republicans are in a state of flux right now, a shift that could have long-term consequences for Virginia politics.

Since Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart won the U. S. Senate primary last month, several Republican leaders have resigned. The latest to step down is the party’s chairman, John Whitbeck.

“He’s probably tired. He’s ready to spend some more time with his family," said Republican strategist Dan Scandling. "And I suspect too that there’s a part of it that if he wants to have a political future in Virginia, he doesn’t want to spend the fall defending Corey at every turn because that could come back to haunt him down the road.”

Democratic strategist Ben Tribbett says the Republican Party of Virginia is a mess. “What’s really different about this one is that because of what Corey has done, especially with his ties to some of these white nationalists that it’s made a lot of people in the party uncomfortable.”

Stewart has tried to distance himself from the white nationalists. But Democrats are already using images of Stewart posing with Confederate flags to show a contrast between the Republican ticket and incumbent Democrat Tim Kaine.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.