Del. Robert G. “Bob” Marshall, R-Prince William, announced Thursday that he formed an exploratory committee for a possible run for retiring U.S. Sen. John Warner’s seat.
Marshall said he formed the committee to see if there is enough support among Republicans for a viable run.
He thinks there is.
“I’ve been calling around to the unit chairmen and I’ve gotten an excellent response,” Marshall said of the districts’ Republican party leaders.
Marshall is the most stalwart abortion and gay rights opponent in the state House of Delegates.
He would have at least one Republican opponent: former Gov. Jim Gilmore, who already has announced he will run.
Republicans will pick their nominee in a convention, where conservatives dominate. Marshall says that will favor him because of his stance against all abortions.
“The Republicans have not had anybody who has been consistently conservative when they run for election and when they get into office,” Marshall said.
Gilmore supports abortion during the first eight weeks of pregnancy.
Marshall said he will decide whether to enter the race after the first of the year.
Former Gov. Mark Warner has filed to run for the Democratic nomination.
In January Marshall will start his ninth term in the House of Delegates.
Marshall was supported by the Sierra Club, the National Rifle Association, the Right to Life Society and the Farm Bureau in his last elsection to the Virginia house of Delegates.
The convention is planned for the last weekend in May, Marshall said.
Staff writer Keith Walker contributed to this story.