Big endorsement for former RPV Chairman Ed Gillespie today, as State Senator Mark Obenshain threw in his lot with a campaign powerhouse showcasing many former Obenshain for AG staffers:

Obenshain is virtually an institution in Virginia, so to have the dean of the conservatives in the Virginia Senate issue his imprimatur is a pretty big deal:

“Ed Gillespie has been a conservative leader for many years,” said Obenshain. “From his early days as a principal drafter of the Contract with America to his stint as RNC Chairman, where he was the first Republican Chairman in 80 years to preside over winning the White House and both houses of Congress, Ed has long fought for the principles that are important to Virginian families.”

“After paying his way through college as a Senate Parking lot attendant, he worked his way up to being Counselor to the President. These humble beginnings, and his determination to succeed, give him the perspective needed as Virginia’s next Senator to ensure that the American dream is within reach for future generations.”

Additionally, former U.S. Senate candidate Howie Lind issued a press statement last night where he was almost apologetic to Gillespie on the individual mandate:

To my friends and supporters: thank you for your steadfast support for me and my campaign. Keep fighting for conservative causes.

I talked to Ed and Shak yesterday to tell them of my withdrawal from this race. I wished each of them well, but I have not endorsed either candidate at this time. I do, however, want to correct the record about my comment about Ed’s support of Obamacare’s individual mandate. After further review, I now understand that he did not express support of the individual mandate.

Lind is a rock solid guy who saw the writing on the wall and perhaps aimed a bit too high in his first bid for elected office.  Nevertheless, Lind has always been a principled conservative and a true leader in the fight.  Onward and upward…

…and it’s all eyes on state Delegate Ben Cline.