HOT SPRINGS, Va. (AP) – The two major party candidates in Virginia’s U.S. Senate race are set to square off in their first debate.  Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican Corey Stewart are debating Saturday at the Homestead Resort. The event is sponsored by the Virginia Bar Association.  Kaine is seeking a second term. He was Hillary Clinton’s running mate in the 2016 presidential election and the early favorite to win this year’s contest.

Stewart is a devotee of President Donald Trump and an outspoken defender of Confederate imagery. Several Virginia Republicans, including those seeking re-election to the U.S. House, have publicly distanced themselves from Stewart.Virginia was once considered a swing state. But Republicans haven’t won a statewide contest since 2009.