Ed Gillespie, a former chairman of the Republican National 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 Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Warner for casting the deciding vote for Obamacare and for signing off on new taxes.
Gillespie chaired Bob McDonnell’s successful 2009 campaign for governor and currently oversees the Republican State Leadership Committee. He was an advisor to Mitt Romney during his presidential campaign.
If Gillespie wins the nomination, the race will have strong ties to Northern Virginia. Gillespie lives near George Washington’s Mount Vernon in Fairfax County. He has an office for his communications consulting business in Old Town Alexandria, 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.”
- Politico: Ed Gillespie to Announce Senate Bid
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.
- Washington Post: Can Ed Gillespie Win a Senate Seat?