- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 9, 2012

U.S. Senate candidate George Allen picked up a key endorsement Wednesday, winning the backing of the American Conservative Union PAC ahead of the second GOP primary date scheduled for Friday.

George Allen is the clear choice for conservatives who want to win in Virginia this November,” ACU Chairman Al Cardenas said. “George Allen´s lifetime American Conservative Union rating of 93 while serving in the Congress shows a consistent commitment to conservative principles on a wide range of issues.”

Mr. Allen said in a statement that it was an “honor” to win the endorsement of “the leading voice of America’s conservative principles.”

“I’m proud to stand for proven, conservative solutions that hold government accountable, reduce taxes and burdensome regulations on families and job-creating businesses, unleash our American energy resources, and free our economy to grow and create jobs,” he said.

Mr. Allen, way out in front of his three primary opponents in both poll numbers and cash, will likely face Democrat Tim Kaine in the general election for the seat of retiring Democratic Sen. Jim Webb.

Mr. Kaine’s campaign immediately jumped on the announcement.

“Now, as George Allen runs for re-election, he is promising the same fiscally reckless agenda that helped create our economic mess,” said spokeswoman Brandi Hoffine. “Of course Washington insider George Allen thinks a stamp of approval from a D.C. political organization will make-up for the damage he’s done, but for Virginians who are struggling in the aftermath of his fiscally reckless Senate term, it’s as meaningless as his repeated promises of fiscal responsibility.”

The Republican Party of Virginia also unveiled more details Wednesday about the debate it will host at the Cavalier Hotel in Virginia Beach Friday at 6:30 p.m.

Nicole Riley, Virginia State Director of the National Federation of Independent Business, will be the moderator. The three panelists all have backgrounds in business as well: Tim Ciampaglio is the president and co-founder of the Pharos Group, Inc., a Maritime law enforcement and security company, Betsy Atkinson is the owner of ERA Atkinson Realty and David Creecy is the owner of Poquoson Pharmacy.

The rules are similar for those in the first debate, which was held May 5 in Roanoke. It is scheduled to last an hour, with each candidate getting a two-minute opening and two-minute closing statement. All questions will be asked by the debate panelists — a slight change from the first debate, in which the first and last questions were asked by the moderator. Each candidate will get 90 seconds to respond to the questions, and all of them will answer the same question.

Joining Mr. Allen on the stage will be tea party activist Jamie Radtke, Delegate Robert G. Marshall, Prince William Republican, and Chesapeake Bishop E.W. Jackson.