Former Virginia Governor made it official today: He is a candidate for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by John Warner, who was first elected in 1978.
Despite some coy words that suggested he might decline to run (see the video of his remarks in Charlottesville on November 10, for instance), Gilmore has thrown his hat into the ring with some enthusiasm. Jeff Schapiro has the story at the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
Former Gov. Jim Gilmore officially entered the 2008 U.S. Senate campaign today, announcing his long-expected candidacy in an on-line video in which he takes a shot at both political parties.In an effort to avoid some of the tactical errors that deep-sixed the campaign of former Senator George F. Allen, who initially paid little attention to new media (in particular, the blogosphere), Gilmore's campaign web site is blogger-friendly. It even makes widgets available for supporters to put on their own blogs, such as this one:
Gilmore, a Republican, makes the case for his candidacy at www.jimgilmoreforsenate.com.
Gilmore says Virginia and the nation face major challenges -- terrorism, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, transportation and illegal immigration.
"On all these issues, our leaders have let us down, and we badly need new hands at the wheel," says Gilmore.
Referring to the 2006 elections that brought two-party government to Washington, Gilmore says, "And in the last year, we have unfortunately seen that these failures are not unique to just one political party."
Although no other Republicans have indicated an official interest in the seat -- the nominee will be chosen at a convention next June -- Representative Tom Davis withdrew from the race even before it began, after it was long assumed he would be a leading (or, at least, competitive) candidate. WINA-AM's Coy Barefoot mentioned at the top of the four o'clock hour on "Charlottesville ... Right Now" that Delegate Chris Saxman (R-Staunton) may also test the waters. (That suggestion is confirmed by an article by Lauren Fulbright in today's Staunton News-Leader.)