Santorum endorses Allen, environmentalists back Kaine

Local,Virginia,Steve Contorno

Former Republican presidential contender Rick Santorum is backing George Allen's U.S. Senate bid in Virginia.

Santorum on Friday endorsed Republican candidates in four Senate races, including Allen, who is running against Democrat Tim Kaine. Santorum also backed Republicans Wendy Long in New York, Josh Mandel in Ohio and Tom Smith in Pennsylvania and promised to help their campaigns over the five weeks remaining before the election.

Santorum and Allen were colleagues in the Senate, where Allen served from 2001 to 2007.

"I have known George Allen for years and have enormous respect for his committed conservative values," Santorum said. "When we served together in the Senate, I watched George fight with great tenacity to stop wasteful spending, protect the sanctity of life, preserve the family, and support tax cuts that spurred job creation in 2001 and 2003."

Santorum was presidential nominee Mitt Romney's most persistent opponent in the Republican primaries, capturing Evangelicals and conservative voters and winning several primaries before bowing out.

Allen is in a heated fight to regain the Senate seat he lost in 2006 to Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va. Webb chose not to seek another term. Kaine and Allen are both former governors.

Not to be outdone, Kaine received endorsements from the League of Conservation Voters Action Fund, the Sierra Club-Virginia Chapter, and more than 200 Virginia sportsmen, outdoorsmen, and conservationists, his campaign announced Friday.

"We have a moral obligation to pass on to our children a world as pristine as the one we inherited," Kaine said. "I reject the false choice between environmental protection and economic success."

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