Gilmore kicks off run for the Senate
As wags have speculated since he dropped his bid to win the Republican nomination for president, former Governor Jim Gilmore made it official today that he's running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by the retiring John Warner (R) by launching his official campaign website. In a YouTube video on the front page of the site, Gilmore says he wants to go to Washington "to be one of those leaders who call on the spirit that is common in all of us, and use it to restore our country for the benefit of our people and in the eyes of the world."
In the kickoff video, Gilmore touts his experience in army counterintelligence, law enforcement, and as governor when the Pentagon was struck on 9/11 as reasons why he should represent the Commonwealth. The man who wants to keep Warner's seat in the red column says that the status quo in the Senate won't suffice. "Our leaders have let us down," he says, "and we badly need new hands at the wheel."
This is oddly reminiscent of his presumptive opponent's first campaign message. "Virginians know that politics as usual just isn't getting the job done. I want to change that," said former Governor Mark Warner (D, no relation to John Warner) in September when he launched his own campaign via YouTube.
With Congressman Tom Davis officially deciding against a Senate candidacy in October, Gilmore has no other serious challengers at this point, making for a match-up of former governors come next November. If recent polls are any indicator, Gilmore has some considerable ground to make up between now and Election Day 2008. In an October 24 poll by the nonpartisan Rasmussen Reports, 53 percent of Virginians would vote for Warner, compared to only 37 percent who say they'd back Gilmore.
Should Warner triumph and join Jim Webb in the world's most deliberative body, it would be the first time that Virginia has had two Democratic senators since 1970, when Senators Harry Byrd Jr. and William Spong represented the Commonwealth.