A video has recently surfaced of Corey Stewart, the perceived front-runner for the Virginia Republican nomination for Senate, calling known anti-Semite Paul Nehlen one of his "personal heroes."
"One of my personal heroes, not from Virginia, but from the great state of Wisconsin, there is Paul Nehlen, who had a lot of courage and took on Speaker Ryan," Stewart says, turning to Nehlen. "And I can't tell you how much I was inspired by you."
The video was posted to Stewart's own YouTube account in February 2017 and shows Stewart, Nehlen, and Alice Butler-Short on Inaugural Night.
Nehlen, a candidate for Speaker Paul Ryan’s seat, was surrounded by controversy several months ago after losing the endorsement of Steve Bannon, who declared that "Nehlen is dead to us" after Nehlen's history of anti-Semitic and racist posts on social media came to light.
"Nehlen has begun tweeting out pictures of an anti-Semitic book he’s reading, as well as tropes about American foreign policy putting Israel first," Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro wrote in December. "He’s retweeted 'anuddah shoah' jokes, favorites among the anti-Semitic alt-right, and he’s told Commentary magazine editor John Podhoretz to 'eat a bullet.' And back in August, he retweeted a series of images from the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia."
A month later, Nehlen also attempted to blame his loss of support on Jews. He compiled a list of 81 verified users who have "attacked" him for his "#AmericaFirst positions."
"Of those 81 people, 74 are Jews, while only 7 are non-Jews," wrote Nehlen. The list displays the names, Twitter handles, and the religious affiliation Nehlen suspects of each individual.
Several of the "Jews" on the list are, in fact, not Jewish, including myself.
Shortly after, Nehlen was banned from Twitter after tweeting a photo of Meghan Markle photoshopped to resemble Cheddar man, a dark-skinned stone-age man discovered in Britain, with a caption that read, "Honey, does this tie make my face look pale?"
In February, Wisconsin GOP Chair Alec Zimmerman announced that Nehlen "is not a member of the Republican Party of Wisconsin," and that Nehlen and his ideas "have no place in the Republican Party."
According to The Nation, Stewart’s spokesman, Noel Fritsch, was also a political consultant to Nehlen and the spokesman for Roy Moore during his failed 2017 bid in the special election for U.S. Senate in Alabama.
Stewart's association with controversial and racist figures does not end there. Stewart has frequently appeared publicly with Jason Kessler, the organizer of the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville that turned deadly.
During Stewart's failed bid for the GOP nomination for Governor, Kessler tweeted out a photo of Stewart and a confederate flag, and urged his followers to "vote for Corey Stewart today," adding "then bring out all your friends to vote for him too."
Stewart has strong name recognition in Virginia due to his unsuccessful bid for the GOP nomination for governor last year. In May, his campaign released an internal poll displaying Stewart leading at 32%.
Despite being fired from his position as the Virginia state co-chairman of the Trump campaign in 2016, Stewart still attempts to closely associate himself with President Trump. In a recent Facebook post, Stewart brags about his position as the Virginia state co-chairmen of the Trump campaign, but fails to mention one important detail: He was fired a few weeks before the general election. The firing came after Stewart staged a stunt in front of the RNC without the approval of the Trump campaign.
"Former Virginia State Chairman Corey Stewart is no longer affiliated with the Donald J. Trump for President campaign," said the statement released by the Trump campaign after the firing. "He is being replaced, effective immediately."
Other candidates in the election include Nick Freitas, a state delegate, and E.W. Jackson, a pastor and the former Republican candidate for Attorney General in 2013.
Kassy Dillon is journalist, political commentator, and recent graduate based out of Washington, D.C. She is the founder of Lone Conservative, a group blog to give a voice to conservative college students. She has been published in the Wall Street Journal, The Hill, Washington Examiner, and Campus Reform, and has appeared on Fox News discussing topics surrounding free speech and cultural issues on college campuses. In her free time, she makes pineapple pizza for her friends.