Former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie announced Monday he plans to run for governor of Virginia.
Gillespie, who served as counselor to the president under George W. Bush and co-founded the bipartisan lobbying firm Quinn Gillespie & Associates, launched his campaign website for his 2017 bid and tweeted the news to followers.
— Ed Gillespie (@EdWGillespie) November 21, 2016
The position is open as Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe will be termed out of the role.
“I will be a governor for all Virginians, and I will take our campaign to all Virginians,” Gillespie said in a statement. “I look forward to putting forward an innovative policy agenda based on our shared conservative principles, and taking our message of economic growth and upward mobility to every corner of the Commonwealth and every voter.”
Gillespie, who kept President-elect Donald Trump at an arms length during the election, is expected to face Rep. Rob Wittman, Prince William Board of County Supervisors Chairman Corey A. Stewart and state Sen. Frank Wagner of Virginia Beach in the race for the nomination.
He narrowly lost his Senate race in 2014 to Democratic Sen. Mark Warner.
Gillespie is expected to kick off his campaign in January with a state-wide bus tour, The Washington Post reports.
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