January 12, 2012 - 11:21 am

BY WESLEY P. HESTER

Del. Robert G. Marshall, R-Prince William, will run for the U.S. Senate, he said today.

Caught before a daily caucus meeting at the state Capitol, Marshall confirmed that he will enter the race, challenging former Gov. George Allen and three others for the Republican nomination.  

“Yes,” he said simply when asked if he would officially announce in coming days.

But responding to rumors that he would announce Friday, Marshall responded: “Unless my clone is out there making statements, that’s not true.”

He gave no indication when he might officially declare his candidacy.

This won’t be Marshall’s first time around the block.

In 2008, he nearly wrested the GOP U.S. Senate nomination from former Gov. Jim Gilmore at a convention in Richmond. This time, the nomination will be decided in a June 12 primary.    

It will be an uphill battle for Marshall after Allen, the front-runner, entered the year with more than $2 million on hand after 11 months of solid campaigning.

Tea party activist Jamie Radtke of Chesterfield County, Hampton Roads attorney David McCormick and Chesapeake minister E.W. Jackson are also seeking the Republican nomination.

Former Gov. Timothy M. Kaine is the Democratic front-runner.