Caddigan Might Not Support Stewart

By Timothy Dwyer
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, June 17, 2007

Supervisor Maureen S. Caddigan (R-Dumfries) won her primary election by collecting a whopping 81 percent of the vote. But despite the landslide, she is fighting mad.

Caddigan, a member of the Board of County Supervisors since 1991, is upset because she thinks Chairman Corey A. Stewart (R) worked to defeat her in the primary.

"I think he did everything in his power to work against me," Caddigan said. "He asked three people to run against me, and I certainly won't be supporting him in November."

Stewart said that he did not support Caddigan's opponent, Charles C. Brewer, directly or indirectly, and that he never recruited anyone to run against her in the primary.

"I didn't support anyone in the race," Stewart said. "I kept my finger off that one. I didn't support Brewer; I didn't endorse him. I know she thinks I somehow recruited him, but that's not true."

Brewer did not respond to a call seeking comment.

Caddigan said Stewart worked against her right up until the primary by asking people to hand out Brewer literature at polling locations in the Dumfries District. Stewart said that he never asked anyone to work the polls for Brewer.

One person active in the county Republican Party disputed Stewart's assertion that he didn't support Brewer. The activist said that Stewart came to him early in the primary campaign and asked him to support Brewer in the election. On primary day the Republican activist said a Brewer poll worker told him that Stewart had asked him to work that day for Brewer.

Stewart "was definitely helping out," said the Republican activist, who requested anonymity because he did not want to get caught up in the intraparty squabble. "He called me when the campaign started and told me that there was a guy out there running against Caddigan and that I might want to take a look at him and consider helping him."

The fracture between Caddigan and Stewart is seen by some in the Republican Party as not just a clash of personalities but also a battle between the moderate members, who support Caddigan, and the more conservative members, who support Stewart. Stewart and Caddigan have been at odds on some issues during county board meetings.

The tension between Caddigan and Stewart that has been present at some meetings has now spilled out onto the campaign trail. Caddigan called Stewart's support of her opponent "despicable."

Stewart said Caddigan "buddies" up with the two Democrats on the board, Supervisors John D. Jenkins (Neabsco) and Hilda M. Barg (Woodbridge). He said the only people who think he supported Brewer are those who were told that by Caddigan.

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