HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV)— Sen. Tim Kaine defeated Republican nominee Corey Stewart on Tuesday to maintain his seat as one of Virginia's U.S. senators.
It was one of the first races called across the country, and a majority of voters in the Commonwealth chose Kaine. This was Kaine's first Senate re-election campaign. He won his seat for the first time in 2012, before making an ill-fated run for Vice President as Hillary Clinton's running mate in 2016, which became his first losing election.
Kaine won his seat back on Tuesday with 56.7% of the vote. Stewart received almost 42% of the vote and Libertarian candidate Matt Waters received almost 2% of the vote.
In Stewart's speech at his watch party, he said he does not regret running for Senate, and that he wished the best for Kaine and his family. Stewart said the night was not a total loss, as other Republicans won their races across the state. Denver Riggleman and Ben Cline both won their elections for Congress.
On Twitter and Facebook, Kaine thanked everyone for their support throughout the campaign. He also said the campaign wasn't over, because it's about more than his election. Across the state, 11 Democrats were running for the House of Representatives. Elaine Luria won in eastern Virginia and Jennifer Wexton defeated Barbara Comstock in northern Virginia. As of 11:30 p.m. Abigail Spanberger held a narrow lead over Dave Brat, but the 7th District race had not been called yet.
When Kaine spoke at his watch party, he talked about how he was overwhelmed with emotion. Kaine also said he was surprised by how early the results came in.
"Virginia sent a message with our polls closing first in the nation about American values and Virginia values," Kaine said.
Stewart was known best across the country for his outspoken support of Confederate imagery and hardline views on immigration, as well as his past ties with white nationalists involved in the deadly "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville. He struggled to raise money and was ignored by national GOP groups, though President Trump tweeted in support of him.