Two big Virginia interest groups picked sides in the state’s marquee U.S. Senate race Friday, with the Fraternal Order of Police backing George Allen (R) and the Virginia Credit Union League lining up with Timothy M. Kaine (D).

Allen received the nod from the Virginia Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police at an event at the Fairfax Marriott. The group — which represents law enforcement officers from state, local and federal forces — also endorsed Allen in his 2006 reelection race against James Webb (D).

Accepting the endorsement, Allen noted that as governor he “worked with a Democrat-controlled legislature to crack down on criminals, including through the abolition of parole, truth in sentencing and juvenile justice reform.” Allen also cited his Senate sponsorship of a bill allowing current and retired law enforcement officers to carry concealed weapons across state lines.

The Credit Union League, which represents 184 nonprofit credit unions, chose to back Kaine in the race to succeed Webb, who is retiring. The decision marks a shift from both 2006 and 2000, when the organization supported Allen.

Kaine said he had “great respect for credit unions and their ‘people helping people’ philosophy. The economy and the creation of jobs is the central focus of my campaign, and credit unions and other community-based financial institutions will help drive the economic recovery.”