Pr. William Board Chairman Corey Stewart to announce reelection bid
Prince William County Board Chairman Corey A. Stewart (R- At Large) plans to announce his bid for reelection Tuesday.
"I really love this place and I wouldn't choose to run in any other locality," Stewart said Monday. "Prince William is where the action is. ... I really enjoy my job and have made a lot of progress I now want to expand on."
Stewart has toyed with the idea of running for a U.S. Senate seat, a move that would place him up against former senator George Allen (R-Va.), tea party leader Jamie Radtke and Hampton Roads lawyer David McCormick. During Tuesday's news conference, however, Stewart said he won't confirm or deny whether running for higher office is in his future.
"It is something I've been thinking about, but at the end of the day, I don't think it's a good idea to plan that far ahead," Stewart said. "I don't know what I'm going to do in the future, as life has its way of following its own course."
A handful of other Republicans are also eyeing the Senate race, including Del. Robert G. Marshall (Prince William), businessman Bert Mizusawa and pastor Earl Jackson. As a former governor and senator with a statewide base of support, Allen has the tacit backing of much of the party establishment. If Stewart runs, he would be battling Radtke and possibly Marshall for grass-roots support to the ideological right of Allen.
Based on recent past contests, Stewart would have to raise at least $10 million to beat Allen in a primary and then run a credible general election campaign.
Stewart said right now he is focused on winning his local seat. The 42-year-old said he will push for economic growth while campaigning in Prince William. Job growth along the Route 1 corridor and in the county's western end is key, along with expanding transportation options. Stewart said he plans to make another announcement in a few weeks regarding new funding for county roads.
When running for office four years ago, Stewart campaigned largely on the need for immigration reform at both the state and county level. Stewart took the national spotlight, touting the county's policy, adopted in 2008, that requires local police to check the immigration status of all those arrested in Prince William.
Although Stewart has made several trips across the commonwealth in recent months to push for statewide immigration reform, he said he will not focus on it as much at the local level anymore.
"Times have changed and there are other needs in the county now," he said. "What the county needs more than anything else right now is economic growth, transportation dollars for roads and funding for schools."
Several county residents have announced their plans to contend for Stewart's seat come November. Independent John Gray, Haymarket Town Council member Robert B. "Bob" Weir and Democrats Babur Lateef and Gary Friedman all hope to upset the incumbent. Some of the candidates said they are running because they are concerned that Stewart's political aspirations have gotten in the way of his focus on the county.
| February 28, 2011; 3:45 PM ET
Categories: Corey Stewart, Jennifer Buske, Prince William
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