Former Senator Allen trying for a comeback, but he’s got competition

January 24, 2011

Former Republican Senator George Allen is trying for a comeback for the Senate seat from Virginia that he narrowly lost to Democrat Jim Webb in 2006, following comments that critics said were racist.

USA ELECTIONS“Friends, it’s time for an American comeback,” Allen said in a video on his website. “Today, I’m announcing my candidacy for the U.S. Senate. You know me as someone willing to fight for the people of Virginia and I would like the responsibility to fight for you again.”

He promised a campaign for the 2012 election based on “foundational” principles that included reining in government spending and creating jobs.

Allen won’t have a clear field to the Republican nomination. Tea Party leader Jamie Radtke, for one, has announced she will seek the party’s nod for the Virginia Senate seat.

Conservative blogger Erick Erickson on RedState.com endorsed Radtke. “Once someone has been beaten, I tend to think we need not run them again for the same seat,” he wrote.

Allen had been favored to win the 2006 Senate race over Webb, but his campaign took a hit when he called a young man of Indian descent who was affiliated with his opponent “macaca,” a word for monkey. Allen denied he had intended an offense but critics said that and remarks he had made when younger were racist.

Democrats have already gone on the attack.

“George Allen’s offensive macaca moment will be the least of his worries,” said Eric Schultz, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman. “Allen is a Republican establishment candidate who spent his years in Washington shilling for corporate interests, wildly spending taxpayer dollars, and racking up our national debt,” he said.

Photo credit: Reuters/Molly Riley (Senator Allen after conceding defeat to Webb, Nov. 9, 2006)

No comments so far

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/