BY WESLEY P. HESTER
Will tea party darling Jamie Radtke endorse her former opponent George Allen in his U.S. Senate bid?
The answer is a resounding maybe.
The Chesterfield County resident and former Virginia Tea Party Patriots chairwoman who placed second in a field of four in the June 12 GOP primary met Saturday with Allen to discuss the terms of an endorsement.
In a phone interview, Radtke said she had told Allen that she would lend him her support if he were to present “a substantive proposal to deal with spending and the debt in the short term.” She said the discussion had been “positive and fruitful.”
“We don’t comment on private meetings,” said Allen campaign spokeswoman Katie Wright, adding that Allen “shares Virginians concerns about Washington’s overspending and will continue to be an advocate for policies to rein in spending including a balanced budget amendment with taxpayer protection, as well as presidential line-item veto authority.”
Throughout her year-and-a-half-long campaign, which centered on the nation’s ballooning debt, Radtke was severely critical of Allen’s record in the senate, attacking him repeatedly for deficit spending while he was in office.
She earned 23 percent of the vote to Allen’s 65.5 percent, finishing well ahead of her other rivals, state Del. Robert G. Marshall, R-Prince William, and Chesapeake minister E.W. Jackson. Marshall and Jackson have both pledged to support Allen.
Allen, who is looking to reclaim the senate seat he lost in 2006 to Jim Webb, faces fellow former governor Timothy M. Kaine in the fall election.
Radtke also addressed speculation that she might enter the increasingly crowded 2013 race for lieutenant governor, saying she was not ruling it out.
“I have a lot of fight left in me,” she said, adding that she felt the fact that the GOP nomination would be decided at a convention would benefit her.
Sen. Stephen H. Martin, R-Chesterfield, Del. L. Scott Lingamfelter, R-Prince William, and Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, have already announced their candidacy.