Former Virginia governor and senator, and current senate GOP hopeful, George Allen is hitting York County Thursday evening to meet with Republican voters as he sows the seeds for the 2012 race.
Allen is the big fish on the Republican side thanks to a long resume in Richmond and Washington and he's essentially been on the campaign trail for nearly a year. Last spring he was already making the rounds at the Shad Planking in Wakefield gently fending off questions about his political ambitions.
But while he is the odds on favorite at this point - just about anyone will tell you that this 2012 campaign is going to be a long a brutal race - for candidates on both sides of the aisle no doubt. And whoever emerges from the primary (or primaries depending on what happens with the Democrats) is going to be part of a national swing state race - and a national ticket that is totally unclear at this point.
Let's not even start worrying about how much the top of the GOP ticket will alter the race in Virginia, because early polling suggests that Barack Obama has a significant lead in Virginia over the most speculated GOP presidential contenders- Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin.
Allen has his work cut out for him with the Republican field. Richmond tea party founder Jamie Radtke is already making the rounds - she visited the folks at the Williamsburg Historic Triangle Tea Party Patriots earlier this week for something of a campaign stop. And last week Virginia Beach attorney David McCormick added his name to the mix of official candidates.
That doesn't even include the rumors around Corey Stewart, E.W. Jackson, Del. Bob Marshall and even outliers like Rep. Rob Wittman.
Meanwhile, on the Sen. Jim Webb replacement watch - we keep hearing that former Gov. Timothy M. Kaine is planning to give Virginia Democrats a yes or a no in the near future. But the term "soon" doesn't mean a whole heck of a lot at this point with a cluster of Democrats - Tom Perriello, Robert C. "Bobby" Scott, Rick Boucher - wondering if they should enter the race.
Allen will be speaking to the York GOP at 7 p.m. here's the location.
301 Main Street
Yorktown, Virginia 23690