Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani endorsed George Allen today in the former Virginia Senator’s campaign to win back his old seat.
The formal endorsement, announced in an online video, came one day after Giuliani was the featured guest at an Allen fundraiser. The event was hosted Monday night by former New York Republican Reps. Susan Molinari and Bill Paxon in Alexandria, Va.
“It’s the time when we really need leadership, experienced leadership, people who understand what’s at stake, understand our economy, understand how to create jobs and build jobs,” Giuliani said in the video. “And there’s nobody better for doing that than George Allen.”
Giuliani went on to ask Allen supporters to donate money, with the Sept. 30 end of the third quarter less than two weeks away. Tickets to Monday’s fundraiser started at $750.
Allen had outraised former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (D) by only about $350,000 through June 30, while Kaine led Allen in cash-on-hand by some $225,000. Money isn’t expected to be a problem for either candidate in what is expected to be one of the most competitive and closest races of 2012.
“The [Democratic National Committee] is doing everything they can to defeat [Allen],” Giuliani said, “running their hand-picked candidate, Tim Kaine, against him with all kinds of money, all kinds of special interest support.”
Before taking on Kaine, Allen must first get through a primary with tea party leader Jamie Radtke. But Allen and Kaine, both former governors, are heavily favored to win their party’s nominations.
The two men will debate for the first time on Dec. 7 in Richmond, Va., as part of the annual Associated Press Day event at the state Capitol, a forum hosted by the Virginia AP Managing Editors and the Virginia Capitol Correspondents Association. Despite other candidates in the race, the 90-minute debate will likely feature only Kaine and Allen, due to minimum eligibility requirements including standing in the polls and fundraising.
A Quinnipiac poll released last week found the race remains a statistical dead heat, as it’s been all year, with Allen taking 45 percent to Kaine’s 44 percent. Roll Call rates this race a Tossup.
Watch Giuliani’s endorsement: