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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A tea party group backed by billionaire conservatives plans to sit out the U.S. Senate race in Virginia.

News outlets report that Americans for Prosperity will not support Republican nominee Corey Stewart as he tries to unseat incumbent Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine.

Americans for Prosperity has been supported by conservative industrialists Charles and David Koch. The group spent heavily to help Stewart's opponent in the GOP primary earlier this year and was a major spender in last year's election for governor.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Corey Stewart has won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Virginia and will face incumbent Tim Kaine in the November general election.

Stewart beat state lawmaker Nick Freitas and Chesapeake minister E.W. Jackson in Tuesday's race.

Stewart is a conservative provocateur who often feuds with members of his party. He's a one-time state chairman of President Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and nearly won the 2017 Republican nomination for governor.

He has pledged to run a "vicious" campaign against Kaine.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Virginia Republican is suing to try and get on the primary ballot for a U.S. Senate race.

Ivan Raiklin filed a lawsuit in federal court Tuesday against the Republican Party of Virginia and the state Board of Elections.

He alleges that party and state officials have unfairly kept him off the GOP primary ballot even though he collected the required number of signatures.

Party spokesman John March said the party followed the law in certifying candidates but declined to comment specifically on the lawsuit.

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LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) - Virginia Republicans hoping to upset Hillary Clinton's former running mate in a U.S. Senate race are clashing over who is more loyal to President Donald Trump.

Corey Stewart accused opponent Nick Freitas at a debate Thursday at Liberty University of being insufficiently supportive of the president and too-thin skinned to survive a tough general election against Democrat Tim Kaine.

Kaine is viewed as the favorite to win a second term to the Senate.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Even with new support from key GOP leaders, Medicaid expansion in Virginia still faces serious roadblocks. That includes a fierce intraparty squabble among Republicans and strong disagreement among expansion supporters on how to pay for it.

Those divisions were on display Thursday as both chambers of the GOP-controlled General Assembly debated whether Medicaid expansion should be included in the state budget. The House favors Medicaid expansion and the new hospital tax, which the Senate opposes.

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(AP) A fifth Republican is now running in the June primary for a chance to challenge Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia in November.

News outlets reported Tuesday that Bert Mizusawa has entered the Republican primary and is expected to plan an announcement this week. He is a retired major general in the U.S. Army Reserve and foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A conservative minister announced he's joining the fight for the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine in 2018.

E.W. Jackson announced his campaign Monday on The John Fredericks Show radio program. The lawyer-turned-preacher ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in 2013.

He joins Corey Stewart, a former state campaign chairman of President Donald Trump, and Del. Nick Freitas, as announced candidates.

HOT SPRINGS, Va. (AP) - Virginia Del. Nick Freitas has announced his plan to seek the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine in 2018.

Freitas will go up against Corey Stewart - the chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors - for the nomination. Stewart, who has modeled himself after President Donald Trump, ran a primary campaign for governor this year, but narrowly lost the Republican nomination to Ed Gillespie.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Trump effect is having an early impact on the 2018 contests for Congress.

Virginia Democrats are lining up to run for Congress, motivated by their opposition to the president. And a Trump-like Republican is promising to run a "vicious, ruthless" U.S. Senate campaign next year that Trump supporters will relish.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Democrats are promising party unity after a hotly contested primary battle for governor.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam and former U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello urged Democrats to work together in this year's general election.

Their comments came Saturday evening at the party's annual Jefferson-Jackson fundraising dinner.

Northam defeated Perriello last week in a primary contest. Perriello said Saturday he "fully" endorses Northam.

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