This past week, E.W. Jackson, a conservative pastor with a history of controversial remarks announced that he would be challenging Corey Stewart, former gubernatorial candidate and Trump acolyte, for the Republican primary which is roughly six months away. Jackson, previously the GOP’s 2013 nominee for lieutenant governor, has said in the past that people who want to be referred to by gender-neutral pronouns indicate that they are possessed by “multiple demons” and that gay and lesbian citizens are “frankly very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally,” a comment for which he has recently expressed regret. He has also said that former President Barack Obama “clearly has Muslim sensibilities”—implying, of course, that that was a bad thing—and that Planned Parenthood “has been far more lethal to black lives than the KKK ever was.”
Stewart, meanwhile, is closely aligned with Donald Trump’s former top strategist, Steve Bannon, and helped shape a campaign on the preservation of Confederate monuments in Virginia, despite hailing from Minnesota. In 2017, he launched an insurgent gubernatorial bid and almost won the nomination during which he referred to his opponent as a “cuckservative.” Stewart was fired from the Trump campaign for, as he put it, standing up against “establishment pukes” at the Republican National Committee when the Access Hollywood tape came out. Most recently, during his brief stint supporting Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, Stewart revived unfounded claims made by Trump that Obama’s birth certificate is fraudulent.