Virginia Republicans, who have been on a long losing streak, are hoping to begin turning things around in Tuesday’s primary, starting with the top of the ticket.
Ed Gillespie, a longtime Washington insider who has never held elected office, faces off against Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart and state Sen. Frank Wagner. The winner will be charged with trying to lead a GOP resurgence in a state that used to be as reliably Republican as any in the country, but where Democrats have been dominant in recent years.
“Another wipeout, you can flip the switch: Virginia goes from purple to blue — it becomes New Jersey,” said John Fredericks, a conservative radio host who is backing Mr. Gillespie and served as a delegate for Donald Trump last year at the Republican National Convention.
Mr. Gillespie has consistently polled ahead of his rivals, and led the money chase — entering the homestretch of the campaign with $2.4 million cash on hand. He also has scored a slew of endorsements — having racked up the support of 67 of the 87 Republican members of the state General Assembly, a majority of the members on Republican State Central Committee and over 30 local party chairs, according to his campaign.
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