Continued from page 1

“A Republican primary is a family affair,” said Mr. Jackson, a former Marine and Harvard Law School graduate. “I intend to be myself. I’m not a creature of politics. I’m not packaged; I don’t try to figure out what people want to hear. I say what’s in my heart.”

As for the reportedly inevitable nomination of Mr. Allen, Mr. Jackson responded with a story from a Hanover Republican meeting, where he was greeted by an Allen supporter.

“After I spoke, that same individual came up to me and said, ‘You changed my mind,’ ” he said. He received a check for $500 from the person soon afterward.

But Mr. Marshall said the “outsider” label cuts both ways.

“Two people don’t have a record, and one has a record he has to be nervous about, in part,” he said. “George has to hope that Republicans forgive him, but they forgave Richard Nixon, so that’s possible.”

Nevertheless, a Rasmussen poll released this week showed Mr. Allen with a statistically insignificant 46 percent to 45 percent lead over Mr. Kaine, with just 4 percent of those polled preferring another candidate in the race and 5 percent undecided.

Mr. Allen also enjoys a significant financial advantage over his primary opponents. He has raised nearly $6 million and had nearly $2.66 million on hand at the end of the first quarter, much more than the other three Republican candidates combined.

But Mr. Jackson said that any of the four would be more than capable of representing Virginia.

“The question is, ‘Who is the right person at this point in history?’ ” he said. “Obviously, I wouldn’t be running if I didn’t think I was that person.”

The winner of the primary will square off against former Gov. Tim Kaine, a Democrat, in the fall election.