RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - George Allen brushed aside three conservative Republican rivals in the Virginia primary, setting up a fall battle to regain the seat he lost in 2006.
With about 15 percent of the vote counted Tuesday, Allen had nearly 65 percent. Bob Marshall, a state legislator and hero of religious conservatives, had 5 percent. Tea party leader Jamie Radtke had 25 percent of the vote, and Chesapeake minister E.W. Jackson had 4 percent.
Allen's victory sets up a November clash with another former Virginia governor, Tim Kaine, in a campaign closely tied to the presidential race in a battleground state both parties consider vital for victory.
Six years ago, Allen had been heavily favored for re-election and a possible GOP presidential hopeful until his chaotic, gaffe-strewn campaign against Democrat Jim Webb self-destructed.
Tim Kaine released this statement on Allen's win:
"I want to congratulate George Allen for his victory in tonight's primary. As we move into the general election phase of this campaign, Virginians are faced with a stark choice between two very different visions for our country's future. Voters already had the chance to experience George Allen's vision during his last term in the Senate, which turned record surpluses into massive deficits, added trillions to our debt, and put opportunity for a select few ahead of opportunity for all our businesses and families. George Allen's approach helped create our economic mess; Virginians can't afford six more years..."
For full primary results, click here.