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Posted at 8:48 AM ET, 02/ 8/2011

McDonnell praises Allen, but is not ready to endorse in Senate race

By Anita Kumar
Anita Kumar

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) said Tuesday morning that he has "tremendous respect and admiration" for former senator George Allen, who announced last month he is running for his old job, but that he has not made a decision on whom he will endorse.

McDonnell complimented Allen's tenure as governor and senator on his monthly call-in show on WNIS in Norfolk but said he was concentrating on the 2011 legislative races in Virginia and would not weigh in yet on the 2012 Senate race.

McDonnell was in the House of Delegates when Allen served in the Governor's Mansion. The two worked on several issues together, including the state's landmark overhaul of the welfare system.

Allen faces Jamie Radtke, former chairwoman of the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation, in the race for the Republican nomination.

Others who have previously said they are interested in running: Corey A. Stewart, chairman of the Prince William County board of supervisors; Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William); and Bert Mizusawa, a businessman and lawyer who ran against U.S. Rep. Scott Rigell last year.

Bishop Earl Jackson, chaplain for the conservative Family Foundation and pastor at Exodus Faith Ministries in Chesapeake, has told conservative activists he plans to run. Harvard-educated Jackson, formerly an attorney said he knows Allen, but doesn't think Allen would make a better senator. "I'm a fighter,'' he said.

Jackson said he has not seen enough fire in Allen, who he said tends to cast conservative votes on fiscal issues, but has to be "dragged kicking and screaming" to vote that way on other issues.

Sen. James Webb (D) has said that he will announce a decision on whether he'll seek reelection in the first quarter of this year.

By Anita Kumar  | February 8, 2011; 8:48 AM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar, Corey Stewart, Election 2012, George F. Allen, James Webb, Robert F. McDonnell, U.S. Senate  
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