- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Delegate Robert G. Marshall is “actively interested” in launching a bid for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate this year, the Prince William Republican said Tuesday.

The conservative stalwart had been weighing a bid since at least last year, but consistently said he was focused on his re-election campaign in the fall.

“When I was going door-to-door, I had a lot of people supportive of me,” said Mr. Marshall, who narrowly lost out to former Gov. James S. Gilmore III for the party’s nomination in 2008. “And they were bringing it up, not me doing it.”

“I am nowhere near making an announcement,” he said. “But am I actively interested? Yes.”

Mr. Marshall has asked Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II for an opinion on how he should collect signatures for a run, since the General Assembly is still at an impasse over approving new lines for the state’s 11 congressional districts.

Candidates have until late March to gather at least 10,000 signatures statewide and 400 from each congressional district to get on the ballot.

Mr. Marshall refused to comment on former Gov. George Allen or any of his other would-be primary opponents, which include tea party Leader Jamie Radtke, Chesapeake Bishop E.W. Jackson, and Hampton Roads lawyer David McCormick.

But he ticked off a list of issues where he clashed directly with the position of former Gov. Tim Kaine, the leading Democratic contender in the race.

“If I do this, I have the experience of having had policy conflicts with Kaine that I beat him on,” he said.

For example, he noted that he was the first to file legislation barring Virginians from being required to buy health insurance — the basis for Mr. Cuccinelli’s lawsuit over President Obama’s health care overhaul. Mr. Kaine has consistently supported the law, both during and after his tenure as the president’s hand-picked chairman of the Democratic National Committee.