- The Washington Times - Monday, January 24, 2011

Republican former Sen. George Allen officially said Monday he is entering the race for his old seat in Virginia, setting up a potential marquee rematch with Democratic Sen. Jim Webb that could make the state a major 2012 political battleground.

“Friends, it’s time for an American comeback,” Mr. Allen, also a former Virginia governor, said in a video posted on his website. “Today I’m announcing my candidacy for the U.S. Senate. … I’d like the responsibility to fight for you again.”

Mr. Allen becomes the presumptive front-runner in a GOP primary that already features a tea party candidate and possible bids from state Delegate Bob Marshall, who represents parts of Loudoun and Prince William counties, and Corey A. Stewart, a Prince William County supervisor who has won national attention for his tough stance on illegal immigrants.

Speculation about the race now focuses squarely on Mr. Webb, who has not confirmed that he will seek a second term.

• Joseph Weber can be reached at jweber@washingtontimes.com.old.

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