George Allen Targets Once (and Future?) Rival Jim Webb
In another clear sign former Virginia Sen. George Allen wants a rematch with Sen. Jim Webb, Allen on Thursday sharply criticized two recent Webb votes.
“For the second time in barely a week, Senator Webb has canceled out Senator Warner’s vote on an issue of great importance to Virginians and our Commonwealth’s economy,” Allen said in a statement on Thursday.
Allen was referring to the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act, which would provide collective bargaining rights for public safety officers employed by states. The measure failed on Wednesday. Warner, highly popular in Virginia, was one of three Democrats to vote against cloture, while Webb joined most of the Democratic Caucus in supporting the measure.
“This week, Virginia had no say in the Senate when Senator Webb sided with Washington liberals, like Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer,” Allen said. “No one expects both of our Senators to agree all the time, but when one persists on negating the other, the will of a vast majority of Virginians is ignored, and the Commonwealth is bumped from a leadership role and onto the sidelines.”
Webb’s 2006 victory was one of the biggest upsets of the cycle, as he defeated Allen by 1 point despite being outspent nearly 2 to 1. The Senator has yet to announce whether he will run for re-election, but as Roll Call has reported, state Republicans are already working toward winning back the seat.
Allen has been touring the state for months, meeting with Republican groups large and small as he works to build support for a run at his old seat. State Del. Bob Marshall and Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, are expected to challenge Allen in the primary, but at this early point the former Senator and 90s era-governor is the favorite to win the nomination.
A Webb spokesman did not immediately respond to request for comment.
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Late Update: A Webb spokesman sends over a mild reply:
“Senator Webb is very focused on the important work confronting Congress in the waning days of this session, particularly the efforts to reinvigorate our economy and put Americans back to work.”