Republicans selected state Del. Thelma Drake (search) Tuesday to replace U.S. Rep. Edward L. Schrock (search) on the November ballot, a day after he dropped out of the race amid claims that he is gay.

The Republican Committee for Schrock's district gathered Tuesday to hastily vote for a nominee who could take on Democrat lawyer David B. Ashe in the Nov. 2 election. Drake, a real estate agent, is a reliable member of the state House's conservative GOP majority.

Schrock, 63, a married retired Navy captain who was popular among conservatives, cited unspecified "allegations" for his surprise decision Monday.

A Web log recently published claims that he solicited sex with another man on a gay phone dating service.

Schrock, an outspoken foe of gays in the military and supporter of a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages, did not address the allegation in a five-paragraph statement announcing his decision Monday. He said he would not comment further.

The GOP controls eight of the state's 11 U.S. House seats, and Schrock's decision to withdraw two months before the election threatens to narrow that margin.