Stewart asks tea parties to support immigration bill
Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, has been visiting tea parties across Virginia to drum up support for his campaign for legislation that would force state officials to crack down on illegal immigration.
He began speaking about the Rule of Law Campaign at a tea party meeting in Richmond in June. He followed that up with talks to the Northern Virginia, Middlesex, Montross and Apple Valley tea party groups.
His Rule of Law Campaign PAC was a sponsor of the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Convention over the weekend in downtown Richmond, attended by nearly 3,000 activists. Stewart will be speaking again Monday at the Northern Virginia Tea Party meeting.
So far, he has collected about 16,000 signatures supporting his proposed legislation through Twitter, Facebook and the campaign's Web site. His goal is 100,000.
"I'm getting a very positive response on illegal immigration from the tea party -- sometimes more than I do from Republicans,'' Stewart said. "Some Republicans are afraid of turning voters off."
Stewart, who has long considered a bid for statewide office, is weighing a run for U.S. Senate in 2012 or lieutenant governor in 2013. But he plans to run for reelection as board chairman next year.
The contacts from his immigration campaign could help if he decides to run for statewide office down the road.
Stewart also has spoken at GOP committee, Young Republican and Republican Women's Club events. This month, he will speak to the Fredericksburg Patriots and the Chester Patriots.
In July, Stewart formed a political action committee to push for the legislation, which he hopes will be debated in the 2011 legislative session.
The bill he is advocating enhances police officials' power to capture, detain and deport illegal immigrants; curbs illegal day laboring; and creates specific state penalties for illegal immigrants.
| October 11, 2010; 1:45 PM ET
Categories: Anita Kumar, Corey Stewart, Immigration, Prince William
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