WOODBRIDGE – (WMAL) A group of four Prince William County Supervisors, along with the County Sheriff, are endorsing Ed Gillespie in the race to become the Republican candidate in Virginia’s gubernatorial race. They’ve chosen Gillespie over their own colleague on the Board of Supervisors, Chairman Corey Stewart.
“It’s become very difficult to defend Corey Stewart’s message and actions as he wraps himself in the Confederate Flag,” Supervisor Martin Nohe (R-Coles) told WMAL.
Nohe, along with Supervisors Ruth Anderson (R-Occoquan), Pete Candland (R-Gainesville), and Jeanine Lawson (R-Brentsville), joined County Sheriff Glendell Hill in endorsing Gillespie.
Hill, with his endorsement of Gillespie, rescinded his previous endorsement of Stewart.
“I think that embracing the Confederate Flag doesn’t send the message that we’re going to keep all of the members of our community safe,” Nohe said. “Prince William County is a majority-minority community, and as leaders in that community, we need to respect the fact that that flag is a very painful symbol of very hurtful times in our state’s history.”
Stewart has positioned himself as a champion of what he calls Virginia’s “heritage,” inserting himself into a debate in Charlottesville over statues of Confederate figures, and making an appearance at a Confederate-themed “Old South Ball” in southern Virginia. He also used the term “cuckservative” to describe Gillespie in an online forum, a term that opponents allege has ties to white supremacists.
Stewart did not return a call from WMAL for comment.
Nohe said he originally wanted to stay neutral in the race out of respect for his colleague, but couldn’t stay silent any longer.
“We want people to know that when Corey Stewart waves the Confederate flag, he’s not speaking for the rest of the Board of Supervisors,” Nohe said. “More importantly, he’s not speaking for the majority of the people of Prince William County.”
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