- The Washington Times - Friday, June 1, 2007

Former Sen. George Allen has formed a political action committee that will rally financial support for Republican candidates running in high-stakes General Assembly races this fall.

“Everyone needs to pitch in,” said Mr. Allen, a Republican. “This is a big year.”

All 140 seats in the House and Senate are up for grabs in November, and Mr. Allen said he decided to establish the “Good Government Action PAC” after he was showered with requests to appear with candidates.

Forming the PAC signals a return to the political stage for the popular former governor, who lost his U.S. Senate seat in November to James H. Webb Jr., a Democrat.

Mr. Allen in March took a job as a Reagan Ranch presidential scholar with the Young America’s Foundation, a Northern Virginia-based political group that advances the ideas of President Ronald Reagan.

A self-described “common sense Jefferson conservative,” Mr. Allen, said the PAC gives him the opportunity to support candidates who share the philosophy of trusting free people and free enterprise that he talks about at ranch-related campus lectures.

Mr. Allen’s involvement also shows the urgency with which state Republicans are heading into the November election.

“Believe me, the Democrats would like nothing more than for you to sit this one out,” Ed Gillespie, Republican Party of Virginia chairman, said in a recent letter to the party faithful. He said that Democrats — whose efforts are led by former Gov. Mark Warner, Gov. Tim Kaine and Mr. Webb — have made it “no secret that their primary focus is to get the Republicans out of the way.”

Last month, Mr. Kaine restarted his PAC Web site, Moving Virginia Forward, which has already raised $365,000 for the November election.

Mr. Allen said the Kaine-Webb-Warner trio is a “formidable” fundraising team.

“That’s why we have to work harder,” he said. “The governor has a great deal of authority and power and ability to raise money. We have to look at ourselves, at being more creative and resourceful, and each one of us need to pitch in.”

Politicians on both sides of the aisle agree that incumbent Republicans in Fairfax County will likely face the fiercest and most costly re-election battles.

The anti-tax, socially conservative wing of the party has struggled to woo voters in the growing Northern Virginia suburbs, which have elected Democrats in the past three statewide elections.

Mr. Gillespie, former Republican National Committee chairman, has used his connections to help offset Democrat’s growing campaign coffers, drawing in national heavy-hitters for fundraisers, including President Bush and former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, a presidential hopeful. Mr. Bush’s appearance alone raised about $630,000.

Former Sen. Fred Thompson is headlining a Republican fundraiser today at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. The former Tennessee senator has been flirting with a presidential run.

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