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Marshall seriously considering U.S. Senate bid

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Del. Robert. G. Marshall, R-Prince William, said Tuesday that he is seriously considering a late entry into Virginia’s U.S. Senate race.

Marshall, who nearly wrested the 2008 GOP U.S. Senate nomination from former Gov. Jim Gilmore, had flirted with the idea prior to last year’s General Assembly elections but put any decision on hold until after winning re-election.

With his seat secure for the next two years, Marshall, a prominent social conservative in the legislature, said he is now giving serious thought to jumping into the Senate race after hearing support for the idea while campaigning last year.

"I don't have any timetable, but I'm looking at it," he said.

Marshall would enter a crowded Republican field for the U.S. Senate nomination. Former Virginia Gov. George Allen, hoping to reclaim the Senate seat he lost to Jim Webb in 2006, is the front-runner among the four current GOP hopefuls.

“I’m not talking about any other Republicans in the race,” Marshall said when asked if he was dissatisfied with Allen as the potential nominee. Rather, Marshall sees himself as the best candidate to defeat former Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, the Democratic front-runner.

"I have clashed many times with Kaine and I have beaten him a number of times,” Marshall said, adding: “He is the chief cheerleader of Obamacare and I am the chief opponent.”

Republicans will choose their nominee in a June 12 primary.

Marshall has also asked Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli for an opinion on how to qualify for the ballot by March 29, noting that while 400 signatures from each of the state's 11 congressional districts are required, congressional redistricting has yet to be completed. Marshall wants to know if signatures from current districts or newly drawn districts will be required.

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