Former Virginia governor and U.S. senator George Allen says his political career is over and he won't be seeking elected office again.
"I have no intention of running for office again," Allen told the Richmond Times-Dispatch in an interview published today.
Allen said he and his wife Susan had "put our heart and soul" into the U.S. Senate race this year, but it wasn't enough to upset Democrat Tim Kaine, a former Virginia governor himself, who will take over the seat being vacated by retiring Democrat Jim Webb.
Allen had hoped to win back the seat he lost to Webb in 2006 after serving one term. But now he's faced with having to decide what to do next.
“Gosh, we’re six days from the election. I haven’t determined what the next venture will be,” Allen told the Times-Dispatch. "I just know that whatever endeavor I get into, I’ll give it all my energy. That’s the way I was raised and the way I live.”
Commenting on his close race with Kaine, Allen said, "There are no guarantees in life. The owners of the government are the people, and they decided. It was wonderful to get over 1.7 million votes, but the other side got more.”
University of Virginia political science professor Larry Sabato told the Times-Dispatch that Allen's decision was simply a nod to "political reality."
“He’s lost the same Senate seat in consecutive elections. Two defeats for statewide office make it difficult to come back,” Sabato said.
“Also, he’s 60, and there are lots of younger Republican officeholders who want their chance. Allen would have to fight hard just to get a future party nomination.”
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