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Former GOP Chairman Ed Gillespie Declares U.S. Senate Bid

Ed Gillespie takes aim on Sen. Mark Warner in video announcing candidacy.

Ed Gillespie. (Screen shot)
Ed Gillespie. (Screen shot)
By Drew Hansen

Ed Gillespie, a former chairman of the National Republican Committee and advisor to President George W. Bush, announced Thursday he is running for U.S. Senate in Virginia.

Gillespie made the announcement in a web video distributed to supporters. 

“If elected, I’ll be a servant of the people of Virginia,” Gillespie said in the video. “And a leader for policies that grow the middle class and foster upward mobility, enabling people to lift themselves out of poverty. Policies that will make life better for working families and those who want to work but can’t now find a job. That includes replacing Obamacare, which kills jobs and costs families the insurance and doctors they like.”

In the video, Gillespie chided incumbent Sen. Mark Warner (D) for casting the deciding vote for Obamacare and for signing off on new taxes.

Gillespie chaired Bob McDonnell’s 2009 campaign for governor and currently oversees the Republican State Leadership Committee. He was an advisor to Mitt Romney during his presidential campaign.

Gillespie will have to secure the Republican nomination at a June convention in Roanoke. Shak Hill and Howie Lind, two relative unknowns, have already announced their intentions to run.

If Gillespie secures the nomination, the race will have strong ties to the Alexandria area. Gillespie lives near George Washington’s Mount Vernon in Fairfax County. He has an office for his communications consulting business in Old Town, where he also attends church. Warner lives Old Town Alexandria.  

Gillespie is a decided underdog, according to Politico. However, a Gillespie advisor told Politico the race is “winnable.”

Warner is a popular senator and former governor with a 61 percent approval rating, according to The Washington Post. In an August poll, Warner received net-positive marks from Republicans, with 49 percent approving and 40 percent disapproving. 

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