Corey A. Stewart (R-At Large), chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors — and sudden supporter of George Allen. (Dayna Smith/For The Washington Post)

He said conservatives and tea-party members are disappointed with his fellow Republican. He said Allen had a mediocre Senate record. He said his baggage makes him a terrible candidate for the U.S. Senate race in 2012.

And there’s this:

“George Allen says he’s for limited government, but this guy was one of the biggest government guys out there,” Stewart told us in January. “He’s part of the problem.”

So why did he endorse Allen on Tuesday?

Stewart, who had once contemplated a run for Senate himself, said in an interview that he has always maintained Allen had a “stellar record” as governor.

“At the end of the day, he has a proven track record of getting stuff done — that the other candidates don’t,” Stewart said.

Stewart, who is running for reelection next week and eyeing a statewide run in 2013, said he has met with two of the other four Republican candidates, Jamie Radtke and Timothy E. Donner. He said Allen asked for his support this summer.

Stewart said that he doesn’t agree with everything Allen did as senator but that “you have to give the guy credit for his record as governor.”

Democrats had a field day with the news of the endorsement — taking shots at Allen and Stewart.

“Perhaps the best thing Stewart has done recently is to rightly identify George Allen as a failed senator who helped create our current economic mess in the first place,” said Brian Moran, chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia. “Unfortunately, it looks like he’s planning to flip-flop on those words out of political convenience.”