RICHMOND, Va., May 31 (UPI) -- Former Virginia Gov. James S. Gilmore III narrowly won the Republican nomination for the state's U.S. Senate seat Saturday, party officials said.
The vote total for the Senate race announced at the Republican Convention in Richmond, Va., showed Gilmore got 5,222 votes compared to 5,156 for state Del. Robert G. Marshall, The Washington Post said.
Next up for Gilmore is the expected Democratic Senate nominee, Mark R. Warner, who succeeded Gilmore as governor of Virginia in 2002.
The race to replace retiring U.S. Sen. John W. Warner, R-Va., is expected to be a closely watched battle due to potential ramifications for both parties.
The Democratic Party has enjoyed success in Virginia in recent years, winning the governor's office and gaining control of the Virginia Senate.
In addition, one of the state's two U.S. Senate seats is already in the hands of a Democrat and another Republican loss could be devastating, the newspaper said.
Yet delegate John Meyer is confident Republicans will rally behind their newest nominee.
"The ones for Marshall will come around,"' Meyer told the Post. "Gilmore is a solid Republican, conservative leaning with accomplishments. All the people will come around."