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Virginia: Hurt Likely Consensus Choice in 5th District

State Sen. Frank Ruff (R) has taken himself out of consideration as a possible candidate in the 5th district, and state GOP sources said this week that state Sen. Robert Hurt (R) will likely join the contest, which will be at the top of national Republicans’ target list in 2010.

Ruff, Hurt and Steve Newman were a trio of state Senators that Republican insiders had mentioned as possible candidates against freshman Rep. Tom Perriello (D).

“I’m off the hook. I don’t have to run,— Ruff said last week.

Although Ruff would not say which state Senator has decided to join the Congressional race, he said he will be supporting him.

Neither Newman nor Hurt could be reached for comment, but a state party source said that Hurt is now expected to be the frontrunner in a GOP primary that already includes five announced candidates.

Perriello beat Rep. Virgil Goode (R) last year by fewer than 800 votes in the conservative central Virginia district. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) won the 5th by about 8,000 votes in the presidential race.

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