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Tea party challenger for 2012 VA Senate race…could be a spolier

Jamie Radtke, who is the head of the Virginia Tea Party Patriots has officially filed papers today to run for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate that will be up for grabs in 2012. Gabriella Schwarz of CNN explained the reasoning for her jumping in the race:

Radtke said the recent tax deal passed by Congress and increased national spending contributed to her decision to run.

The entry of Radtke into the fray could complicate things for George Allen. The former Republican senator who was defeated by Jim Webb in 2006 is widely considered to be seeking to run for the seat again. He only lost re-election in 2006 by 1/3 of a percent(8805 votes), and many believe that loss was due to the fact that he spewed a racial epithet at a Indian American staffer of his opponents campaign at a rally. The former congressman and governor would definitely be the front runner for the Republican nomination. The problem is that Allen is considered an establishment Republican, and that could spell trouble in the primary. Republican voters have not been kind at all to establishment figures/front runners in their party, and many front runners(Charlie Crist, Mike Castle, Arlen Specter) have went down in flames. Radtke will surely run to the right of Allen, and go after him pretty aggressively.

George Allen will be able to raise massive amounts of cash, and put together a top flight campaign operation, but it remains to be seen if he can get enough support from the base to pull out a primary win. Because the likes of Sharon Angle, and Christine O’Donnell have pulled off primary upsets, it would never be too wise to count someone like Jamie Radtke out.

As a Democrat, I am jumping with joy at this situation. If Radtke is able to knock off George Allen, she will have far less appeal with moderate Republicans and independents than Allen would have…only helping Jim Webb’s re-election chances. And even if Allen pulls out a primary win, he may be pretty bruised and battered from a tough primary, and have burned through a lot of his cash fending off a challenger. That would in turn weaken him in a general election battle against Webb. We will see what happens.

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