Former Sen. Allen gets primary challenger in Virginia

Former Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) has another primary challenger in his bid for his old seat, and he might have to take this one more seriously than the others — state Delegate Bob Marshall (R), who nearly beat Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore (R) for the Senate nomination in 2008, will run against Allen, he told the Richmond Times-Dispatch on Thursday.

Allen is facing off against former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (D-Va.). While Kaine has focused on a centrist message, Allen has done little to move towards the middle politically.

Marshall's entrance will make a pivot to the center harder for Allen. He is a hard-line social conservative whose near-win at the 2008 state convention helped him build connections with party activists.

It is unlikely Marshall will be able to catch the well-known and well-funded Allen, but the former senator has already agreed to three primary debates, creating the possibility that he could slip up against his competition.

Marshall will also force Allen to talk more about social issues, a topic he has largely tried to avoid on the campaign trail as he focuses on the economy.