No surprise here.

George Allen greets employees at Dynax in Botentot Co. (Stephanie Klein-Davis)

McDonnell, one of the most popular governors in the nation, has been complimentary of Allen since before he jumped into the race. There was never any doubt he would endorse — it was just a matter of when.

The endorsement came after Tuesday’s elections in the form of a video message sent to supporters. (McDonnell left for a 11-day trade mission to Israel and India Wednesday.)

“Next year our sights are set on helping achieve a majority in the U.S. Senate. And Virginia once again will be at the forefront of that fight,’’ McDonnell says. “The road ahead won't be easy, but things worth fighting for rarely are.”

Allen had already been endorsed by many of the state’s Republican leaders, including Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, House Speaker Bill Howell (Stafford). Only Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a tea party favorite, has yet to endorse in the Senate race.

Allen faces four challengers — former Virginia Tea Party Patriots head Jamie Radtke, businessman Timothy Donner, lawyer David McCormick and minister E.W. Jackson — in the Republican primary.

Three are vying for the Democratic nomination, including former governor Tim Kaine.