ABC News' Gregory Simmons (@abcgregory) reports: U.S. Senate hopeful George Allen picked up a major endorsement Monday in his quest for the republican nomination. Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor threw his support behind Allen’s bid during a conference call Monday morning calling Allen "a proven, common sense conservative."
Allen, who held the office of US Senator from 2001-2007, is running in a crowded Republican primary against the likes of former chairwoman of the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation, Jamie Radtke. If he wins the nomination, Allen will most likely face another former Governor, Tim Kaine. Other declared GOP candidates in the 2012 race include businessman Tim Donner, Earl W. Jackson Sr. of Chesapeake, and Virginia Beach attorney David McCormick.
Allen’s most recent run for office was ended when he narrowly lost his senate seat to Democrat Jim Webb in 2006. Allen’s campaign suffered after the infamous "Macaca Moment” when he was caught on camera hurling a racial epithet at Webb’s staffer.
Cantor issued a statement on his endorsement Monday afternoon highlighting some of Allen's accomplishments: "George Allen has a long track record of success implementing small government reforms that grow the economy and create jobs. He has been a longtime supporter of a Balanced Budget Amendment, introducing it in the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. As Governor, he reduced the tax burden on Virginia families and businesses, fostered a pro-growth environment that helped create jobs, and left Virginia with a smaller, leaner government.