Marshall brings with him notable name recognition due to his 20 years as a state legislator in Richmond. He last ran for Senate in 2008 against former Republican Gov. Jim Gilmore, nearly pulling off an upset at the state GOP convention. Marshall, a Northern Virginia Republican from Manassas, has a network of grassroots support throughout the commonwealth and is known as a socially and fiscally conservative firebrand.
Marshall's entrance into the race will present Allen with an opponent who will raise social issues in the campaign, and one who is better-known to Republicans that any of the other candidates trying to chase down the former senator in the primary.
He is one of the state's leading opponents against the federal health care reform law, won a state Supreme Court challenge against the funding of a transportation bill, and sponsored the constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2006 barring same-sex marriages and civil unions in Virginia.
Marshall is not known as a prolific fundraiser but, like Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, has a loyal following.