A fixture in Virginia politics is hanging up his hat. George Allen, the former governor and U.S. senator who makes his home with his family in Mount Vernon, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch he has "no intention of running for office again."
He and wife Susan “put our heart and soul into this campaign,” he told the newspaper.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said Tuesday he is "disappointed" to hear that Allen has taken himself out of the political arena after losing his Senate race last week to Tim Kaine. It was the second Senate race Allen lost, after losing his seat to Jim Webb in 2006.
"Two big losses in a row make it tough for George Allen to try yet again to make a comeback," said Mark Rozell, professor of Public Policy at George Mason University.
"George Allen ran as strong as Romney in Virginia," Rozell said. "Pre-election polls had Allen running behind the top of the ticket. His actual showing was a surprise."
Allen said earlier in an email to supporters he will "continue to advocate the aspirations of families throughout Virginia." That may or may not be in an elected capacity, experts say. The Washington Post talked previously to a few campaign-watchers about Allen's future. (Read that story here.)
Gov. McDonnell wants Virginians to remember what Allen accomplished in his political career. "I've had the honor of knowing George for two decades now," the governor said in a news release. "He is a great friend. And I sincerely hope, as George exits from political life, that all Virginians will remember the incredible service he has given to our Commonwealth."
McDonnell said that Allen "will go down in history as one of the most influential and successful governors Virginia has ever known."
McDonnell said Allen's accomplishments, include
- Abolishing parole and making communities safer.
- Strengthening academic standards and making schools better.
- Reforming welfare and making society stronger.
- Overseeing economic expansion across the state, making Virginia an even better place to call home.
"We're going to miss George Allen in Virginia politics," McDonnell said. "For two decades he played a leading and pivotal role in making Virginia such a great place to start a business, raise a family and call home. Even though George Allen's political career has ended, I sincerely hope that his contributions to the well-being of the Commonwealth and all our citizens will continue for years to come. I wish George, and his wonderful wife Susan, the very best moving forward, and I congratulate them for years of service, faithfully executed and well done. Virginia is a better place for it."
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