Virginia Republican Announces Senate Campaign to Protest Corey Stewart

"If you surround yourself with white supremacists and Nazis, then you're telling me that you're one of them," Winsome Sears tells Reason.


Winsome Sears

Republican senatorial candidate Winsome Sears' chances of winning a U.S. Senate seat from Virginia this November are miniscule at best. But in her mind, she's "already won."

For Sears, an Marine veteran and former state delegate from 2002 to 2004, throwing her hat in the ring is a victory in and of itself. "I've entered the race. People are talking, people are thinking, the message is getting out," she tells Reason.

Less than two months from election day, Sears has officially announced her candidacy. The problem for her is that the Republicans already have a nominee. Corey Stewart, a controversial far-right politician, is challenging incumbent the Democratic incumbent, Sen. Tim Kaine. So Sears' name won't be on the ballot; instead, she's asking voters to write her in.

While Sears is challenging Kaine, the true goal of her candidacy is to "send a message" that "Stewart and people of his ilk are not the future of the Republican Party." She's particularly troubled by some of Stewart's past remarks and the people he surrounds himself with.

Stewart has spoken out in support of the Confederate flag and the Confederacy itself. He once called anti-Semitic former Wisconsin congressional candidate Paul Nehlen "one of my personal heroes," and he's appeared in public with white supremacist activist Jason Kessler, who helped organize last August's infamous "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville. Stewart has distanced himself from both Nehlen and Kessler, though racially charged comments from two people tied to his campaign have ensured that the controversy over his racial views lives on.

Is Stewart himself a white supremacist? Stewart says no, but Sears disagrees. "It's not what you say, it's what you do," she says. "And if you surround yourself with white supremacists and Nazis, then you're telling me that you're one of them." As a black woman born in Jamaica, she won't stand for it. "I am a black person," she says, explaining that "the Republican Party was begun for people who look like me to not be treated as subhuman."

Politicians like Stewart are not "true" Republicans, according to Sears. "They're bogarting their way into the party," she says. "We need to get this evil away from us."

It was one such politician who helped bring Sears' attention to the problem. In March, she heard about Arthur Jones, a self-described Nazi running as a Republican to represent Illinois' 3rd Congressional District. Jones was unopposed in the primary, and he'll face Rep. Dan Lipinski (D–Ill.) in the November general election.

Since Sears lives in Virginia, there wasn't much she could do about Jones. Then in June, Stewart won the GOP Senate primary in Virginia over two other candidates. Sears initially thought someone would step up to stop him. Eventually, "I realized that somebody was me," she says.

Sears hoped to have her campaign up and running around the start of September, though she was unable to do so. Now that she's finally in the race, Sears wants everyone "to understand who" Stewart really is. "And I'm finding that some people don't know."

Though Sears is an ardent conservative, she's disturbed by the current divisive political climate, which she describes as "a boxing ring" where people just "stick to our corners."

"As soon as the bell rings," she says, noting that the "bell" in her analogy is the election cycle, "we come out swinging. We can't agree to disagree. We can't be reasonable with each other. We just throw stuff and hope something sticks." When "the bell rings again because the election is over," she adds, "we go back to our corners and we simmer and we figure out how we're going to destroy the opponent the next time."

Another issue she has with the current political system relates to race. As a black woman, she says people automatically assume she's a Democrat. And while the Democratic Party takes her vote for granted, Republicans "probably don't bother with" her because they don't think it's worth the effort. As result, Sears says, "I have no political power."

That's not the way things should be. "I don't want all black people to become Republicans," she says. Instead, Sears wants whoever is in power to ensure that everyone has "a seat at the table." Rather than segregating people into their respective races, she adds, "let's just all come and reason together."

As for actual policy, Sears is focusing on jobs and education, which she says can "lift a man out of poverty." Sears is concerned that in today's world, even a college education might not be enough help someone get a well-paying job. And in public schools, she's worried there's not nearly enough accountability. One solution, says Sears, who owns a plumbing and electric company, is workforce training for "concrete jobs that have a future," particularly in the STEM fields.

In all likelihood, Sears won't get the chance to make her case for specific policies on Capitol Hill. Recent polling has Kaine up nearly 20 points on Stewart. A write-in candidate like Sears may eat into Stewart's support, but she probably won't hurt Kaine.

Sears doesn't care. "Sometimes victory is not necessarily in the numbers. Victory is when you stand up for your principles, even if no one else is coming with you," she says. "And you never know who else you have inspired to say, 'Well if she can do it, I can do it.' I want to be part of that change."

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    AUSTIN, Texas ? An affidavit accuses the owner of a Texas company that makes untraceable 3D-printed guns of paying $500 cash to have sex with a female under 17.

    The affidavit filed Wednesday in state district court in Austin accuses 30-year-old Cody R. Wilson of sexual assault of a juvenile. It says he met his alleged victim through the website

    FILE ? In this Aug. 1, 2018, file photo, Cody Wilson, with Defense Distributed, holds a 3D-printed gun called the Liberator at his shop in Austin, Texas. A federal judge in Seattle has granted an injunction that prohibits the Trump administration from allowing a Texas company to post 3D gun-making plans online. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, file)
    Seattle judge blocks release of downloadable blueprints for producing 3D-printable guns

    Texan says he’s selling 3D-printed gun plans after ruling

    Wilson hasn’t responded to a phone message. Jail records indicate he’s not in custody

      1. Wow, Cody is a dumbass. Sounds like a setup.

    1. Sex is the downfall of all humanity.

      1. So far so good for me 🙂

    2. paying $500 cash to have sex with a female under 17

      That phrasing makes it sound like he went to some sort of sex slave dungeon run by Eastern European terrorists like in Taken or something.

    3. 1) I don’t believe a word of it

      2) He’s already a pariah with anyone this will matter to if he actually did it

      1. I believe there are people who applaud Wilson’s position on firearms but object to a 30-something man offering money online to an underage girl for sex.

        1. I love that you entirely missed the point, it makes your fake intellectual schtick that much more comical.

          1. He’s already a pariah with anyone this will matter to if he actually did it

            That was the point to which I responded. Sound familiar?

  2. What a choice, Tim Kaine or a Hitler Heiler.

    1. Are you referring to David Hilter?

    2. There is Matt Waters, the Libertarian candidate.

      1. Kaine will win anyway.

        1. I know, but my vote matters, or so I am told.

  3. If I was in her district I’d sure like to know what her other policy positions are. She can’t hardly be as bad as the establishment jackass but she should articulate a position other than “he has icky thoughts”

    1. Why? You think any other politician’s stated positions mean anything?

  4. >>>Corey Stewart, a controversial far-right politician

    “controversial” or stupid?

    1. Can’t it be both?

      1. sure. think this falls short of controversy though.

  5. What’s the liberty angle? I understand name calling and outrage mobs are fashionable. But what do those notions have to do with liberty?

    1. Reason, and indeed a great many libertarians, cling to this weird idea that somehow Nazism and the far-right are enemies of liberty, despite all evidence to the contrary. Really it’s just closeted leftist bullshit, like Sears herself.

    2. White supremacists tend to be lousy on liberty.

      1. Only if you disagree with them, who’s is fortunately about 99% of people.

        1. Which is.

  6. If you want to call Stewart “far right”, how then is Kaine not “far left”? Is anyone far left in Reason’s view? Or is being extreme something only evil rightwingers do?

    1. Oh, maybe the fact that Kaine has never advocated an end to private ownership of the means of production nor called for a revolution to overthrow the established lawful government.

      These are certainly the equivalent of things that are associated with the far right like white supremacy and sympathy for the Confederate secessionist cause.

      The label “far left” might apply to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders but definitely not to a white-bread business Democrat like Tim Kaine.

      1. There is nothing centrist about Kaine Isaac And he has advocated…..ical-roots

      2. Oh, maybe the fact that Kaine has never advocated an end to private ownership of the means of production nor called for a revolution to overthrow the established lawful government.

        He has

        In 2005, he directly discussed “Liberation Theology,” “Christian socialism” and other “revolutionary” ways of thinking, saying: “After the collapse of ‘real socialism,’ these currents of thought were plunged into confusion. Incapable of either radical reformulation or new creativity, they survived by inertia, even if there are still some today who, anachronistically, would like to propose [them] again.”

        Liberation Theology’s recent second wind has been achieved by disavowing its Marxist roots. Francis’ doctrinal chief Cardinal Mueller is seen as friendly, but stated: “true liberation theology is opposed to Marxism.”

        1. citation please

          1. OK, Sorry, John, I stand corrected. I didn’t catch your previous post. OK you have a story were Kaine expresses certain social justice sympathies.

            1. However, for any statements he’s made, he’s still a fairly typical “white-bread business Democrat” .

              IOW a Clinton (ie a Wall St) Democrat.

              Not particularly desirable from the libertarian POV. As in most competitions from the libertarian POV, it’s a shame that they can’t both lose.

  7. If I ask a few people to write my name in on a ballot can I get a write up in Reason too?

    What if I spout some libertarian-y shit too?

    How about if I prove I’m more woke than one of my opponents?

    1. Vote Rat

      1. It’s Nunya or nothing.

    2. She should go to the Democratic party where she belongs. Racism is a friend to liberty. How do I know this? Look at what her “anti-racist” campaign is doing, taking votes away from the liberty candidate, Stewart.

  8. She sounds a bit like Evan McMullin in that she doesn’t really have any ideas other than she’s not as bad as the nominee. I would definitely vote for her over Stewart, though, if I vote, it will be for Matt Waters (L).

    If the race between Stewart and Kaine were close, you can bet that the dems would be going apeshit about her stealing away Black voters.

  9. “”I’ve entered the race. People are talking, people are thinking, the message is getting out,””

    Yes, and the message is that you’re an idiot.

    1. She’s not nearly as big of an idiot as Corey Stewart, or Tim Kaine.

      1. It can all be true.

  10. Stewart is the liberty candidate. The further to the right you are, the better you are for liberty. God, libertarians are so dumb for not grasping this obvious truth. Even leftist know as much (though their chronic dishonesty keeps them from admitting it)

    1. Ummm-No! He is no more of a liberty candidate than Trump was/is. He definitely didn’t do much for liberty when he was Prince William county executive and wants more and more power for the po-lice.

      1. Police protect our liberty, fam. Crime is, by it’s very nature, an assault on liberty.

        Silly libertarians, thinking people deserve freedom just for existing.

  11. Reason publishes an article on a candidate running to smear a Republican candidate as racist to keep up the drum beat of “The Right are all Nazis”

    Another Woketarian Moment at Reason

  12. She is a future Democrat, race is all she has

  13. I love that she says Stewart is bogarting his way into the party…. and, she’s from Jamaica, mon. Quixotic.

  14. Oh, what the hell. I’ll vote for her. Just send me my absentee ballot here in California.

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