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Mr. Kondik acknowledges thinking that Ms. Ratke or Northern Virginia TV mogul Tim Donner could pull off an upset should the anti-Allen vote get behind either of them.

“But it seems almost impossible now,” he said.

Delegate Bob Marshall, Prince William Republican and one of the Virginia House’s most conservative members, says he’s still hearing from people who want him to throw his hat in the ring.

“I’m still considering that,” he said. “I just have a delegate race to run first. I’m staying active. I’m reading a lot of books about the federal budget. I’m keeping my finger on things.”