In news that will certainly allow front runner Ed Gillespie to take a deep breath, the 2013 GOP nominee for Lt. Governor, E.W. Jackson will not seek the republican nod for U.S. Senate.
The republicans once again chose to nominate their candidate in a convention over a statewide primary and Jackson is an expert in rallying his passionate supporters to relatively small gatherings to capture the spot on the ballot.
The firebrand conservative did just that last year, when he surprised the field to win the nomination for Lt. Governor.
In a statement obtained by NBC12, Jackson declines to endorse a candidate for the race, but lists the certain characteristics he plans to look for before offering his support.
"While I do not plan to endorse before the Convention, it is my hope that we will choose a nominee with integrity; one who does more than wear the Republican label," Jackson writes. "We need a nominee with courage and conviction to fight to shrink the size of the Federal government, to stand against the unconstitutional overreaches of Federal power, and to uphold our Judeo-Christian heritage and principles."
Jackson also promises to stay involved in the process and is transforming his campaign fund as a political action committee. He is also re-launching a non-profit conservative public policy organization that will be designed to "reach out to working class and minority communities."
Gillespie is doing a pretty good job of clearing the field. Howie Lind, a former Navy man passed on a run last week, as did conservative Del. Ben Cline who was mulling a run. Busisnessman Shak Hill remains a candidate.
Gillespie also picked up the endorsement of businessman Pete Snyder today, who used his platform as an analyst at Fox News Channel to announce his support. Snyder was also at one time considered to be running.