Corey Stewart

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Virginia Republican Corey Stewart says he may run for U.S. Senate next year after his surprisingly strong showing in the GOP primary for governor. The former state campaign chairman for President Donald Trump said Wednesday in an interview with The Associated Press that his near-victory over former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie showed there’s strong interest in his brand of confrontational politics. His remarks came as Republicans and Democrats alike are calling for unity and civil discourse, despite their political disagreements, after a gunman opened fire on several Republican congressmen during their baseball practice. Stewart said the harmful rhetoric is coming from Democrats and conservatives need to push back. He said he plans to take a break for a few weeks before deciding on his political future, which could include trying to challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine in next year’s senate contest. Stewart said he will vote for the Republican ticket in this year’s elections, but won’t actively support Gillespie unless he becomes a “fighter” for Trump and against illegal immigration and the removal of Confederate statues.