Former Sen. George Allen (R-VA), who is seeking a comeback to the Senate seat he narrowly lost in 2006, has a new challenger in the Republican primary with the potential hammer him from the right: State Delegate Bob Marshall.
Marshall confirmed to the Richmond Times-Dispatch that he is planning to announce his candidacy in the coming days, with a simple answer of “Yes.”
Marshall previously ran for Senate in 2008, when the GOP nomination was decided by a state convention rather than a primary. At that convention, he nearly defeated former Gov. Jim Gilmore, who won by a margin of just 66 votes.
This time around, though, the nomination will be decided in a primary on June 12 — which Allen is heavily favored to win. Allen already has over $2 million cash on hand, and the full support of the Republican Party machinery, which three other Tea Party-style challengers have failed to dent at all. (Indeed, the general election is practically in full swing already, with Allen and presumptive Democratic nominee Tim Kaine having held a heated debate this past December.) But along the way, Marshall might be able to generate some fireworks.
Among Marshall’s past proposals are that Virginia should mint its own gold and silver coins, and that the state respond to the repeal of the ban on gays serving openly in the military, by banning gays from the state National Guard.
Back in 2010, he walked back a statement that he made, in which he claimed that there was an increase in birth defects — as a punishment upon mothers who had prior abortions: “The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children.”