That didn't take long.
Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II threw his support behind George Allen Wednesday after Mr. Allen's decisive victory over three challengers in Tuesday's GOP U.S. Senate primary.
“This election is about protecting Virginians' freedom and opportunity from an overreaching federal government,” Mr. Cuccinelli said in a statement released by Mr. Allen's campaign. “George Allen's record shows that he believes that government should serve the people, not be an impediment to Virginia families and small businesses.”
Though other high-profile Republicans in the state — such as Gov. Bob McDonnell and Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling — actively supported Mr. Allen during his primary campaign, Mr. Cuccinelli remained on the sidelines.
Nevertheless, Mr. Allen, who will square off against Democrat Tim Kaine in the fall, said he was “honored” to receive Mr. Cuccinelli's support.
“Ken has seen firsthand Tim Kaine's failed policies and he knows we can't afford six more years of failed leadership,” he said. “Ken's endorsement adds to our growing support from Republicans, Independents and Democrats ready for positive solutions based on freedom and opportunity for all.”
Mr. Allen received 65 percent of the vote, compared to 23 percent for Tea Party candidate Jamie Radtke, 7 percent for Prince William Delegate Robert G. Marshall, and 5 percent for Chesapeake Bishop E.W. Jackson, according to unofficial results.
Mr. Jackson quickly endorsed Mr. Allen Wednesday as well.
“As I promised during the primary campaign, he has my full support,” he said. “We must defeat Tim Kaine and Barack Obama in November. That must now become the quest of every candidate, every Republican and should be the goal of every citizen in Virginia.”
In a thank-you message to supporters on his website, Mr. Marshall wrote that he called Mr. Allen Tuesday night to congratulate him on his win.
“I told him I would help him to defeat Tim Kaine, and he thanked me for running a principled campaign,” he wrote.
Ms. Radtke, who was by far the most aggressive in attacking Mr. Allen during the primary campaign, was a bit more vague.
“Last night and today are about the thousands of people who fought the fight on spending, civil liberties, and constitutional adherence,” she wrote on her Facebook page Wednesday afternoon. “I am truly humbled by your well wishes and encouragement, but today is not about me, it is about what you all accomplished! In the days to come, we will talk about about the next steps. No rest for the weary. We must ensure our message wins in November!”
The campaign for Mr. Kaine, meanwhile, was less than impressed.
"Just this morning, Attorney General Cuccinelli told Virginians that George Allen's budget-busting record in the U.S. Senate was a legitimate topic for discussion," said Brandi Hoffine, a spokeswoman for the Democrat's campaign. "He may have changed his mind, but Virginians living under the skyrocketing debt and failed economic policies championed by George Allen haven't. As governor, Kaine balanced Virginia's budget, earned Virginia Forbes' and CNBC's rating of best state for business all four years, and kept unemployment well below the national average. That's the kind of leadership Virginians expect from their next U.S. senator."
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