Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson today will endorse and later appear alongside former Sen. George Allen, who is running to win back his former seat in Virginia.
The Republicans will hold a small-business roundtable this afternoon at Bill's Barbecue, a Richmond institution that recently closed five of its eight area locations, according to local reports. Johnson, who was recently tasked with coordinating Senate Republicans' messaging, ran his own business for three decades before being elected to the Senate in 2010.
"I have experienced first-hand the burdens Washington places on small business and the American people," Johnson writes in an email on behalf of Allen that will be sent today. "We must change the spending and debt culture in Washington. It is why I ran. It is the fight I fight every day. It will take people who exhibit a special kind of strength to change Washington. It is why I'm proud to support George Allen for US Senate, and I wanted you to be one of the first to know."
Allen, also a former governor, is heavily favored to win the June 12 GOP primary against state Del. Bob Marshall, tea party leader Jamie Radtke and minister E.W. Jackson. The winner will face former Gov. Tim Kaine (D) in the general election to replace retiring Sen. Jim Webb (D).
Kaine is coming off a two-week, economy-focused tour of the state, during which he was joined by Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.). Kaine is scheduled today to speak to members of the Virginia Transportation Construction Alliance in Hampton and in the evening will attend the James City County Democrats' annual banquet. Allen will also speak to the VTCA today.