Va Gov Candidate Posts Fake Endorsement List
Gubernatorial candidate Corey Stewart of Virginia posted an official list of endorsements on his campaign’s website, but the list of 130 “Faith Leaders” that endorsed him included a reporter with The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Stewart is running for the Republican nomination against former chair of the RNC Ed Gillespie, and argues that he is the only true conservative that will fight for Virginians. To illustrate his conservative, Christian background, he created a list of “Faith Leaders” that fully endorsed the outsider candidate.
“I am honored to have the endorsements of more than one hundred and thirty faith activists in the state of Virginia,” said Stewart.
“The importance of this coalition runs deep with me. The right to religious freedom and to express our faith freely was the motivation for founding this Country.”
Your humble politics reporter, Phillip Stucky, appeared near the bottom of the list. He is neither a “faith leader” nor a supporter of the campaign.
Stucky added his name to the campaign’s mailing list as a way to stay connected with the campaign. He’s also on the Gillespie mailing list, and also gets information from Democratic candidates Ralph Northam and Tom Perriello. The Stewart campaign added him to the list of endorsements as a result, possibly revealing a fairly low bar for a gubernatorial candidate.
Bethany Dorin with the campaign contacted Stucky by email, phone, and text, with one text coming in at 10:00 p.m. Eastern. Stucky returned each correspondence, telling Dorin that the Stewart campaign had no permission to use his name, and clearly identified himself as a reporter.
Stucky even asked Dorin for a comment for the story, and was directed to the campaign’s press director. Dorin then sent another email asking permission to use Stucky’s name on the list a week later.
“I am sorry! I have no idea, but someone signed you up for every coalition. I have removed you!” Dorin wrote after the list was published Friday morning, but as of press time, Stucky’s name was still featured on the list.
Stewart campaigned heavily against the removal of a statue of Civil War General Robert E. Lee Charlottesville, Va. He called the proposed removal an assault on Virginia’s cultural heritage, despite openly advocating to rename a school named for a former governor of the state.
Stewart’s campaign didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
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