Tag Archives: Ed Gillespie

George W. Bush To Attend Ed Gillespie Fundraiser

Ed Gillespie will have help on his gubernatorial campaign when a fundraiser to be held this weekend in Texas will be attended by his old boss, former President George W. Bush.

Gillespie, who was the state chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia in 2006, left to serve as the president’s top aide toward the end of the Bush administration. Gillespie also served as chairman of the Republican National Committee.

CNN reported:

“Ed will travel to Dallas this week to raise money for his campaign. He’s proud to have the support of President Bush and conservative leaders from across the commonwealth and the country,” said Abbi Sigler, a Gillespie spokeswoman. “This is a crucial campaign for Virginia Republicans, and Ed will work tirelessly to ensure we have the resources necessary to defeat Ralph Northam or Tom Perriello in November, and bring conservative leadership back to Richmond.”

The latest polls show Gillespie 25 points ahead of his nearest competitor, and ahead of both Democratic candidates in a hypothetical head-to-head contest.

Here are the numbers:

Head to Head Match ups:

  • Gillespie 40, Northam 39
  • Gillespie 39, Perriello 39
  • Northam 41, Stewart 33
  • Perriello 40, Stewart 34
  • Northam 40, Wagner 34
  • Perriello 38, Wagner 35

Among Independents:

  • Gillespie 40, Northam 30
  • Gillespie 40, Perriello 30

The Republican Primary is June 13 when Gillespie will be on the ballot with Corey Stewart and Frank Wagner. The winner will go on to compete in the general election against either Democratic Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam, or former Congressman Tom Perriello.

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Ed Gillespie Kicks Off Republican Gubernatorial Campaign Saturday


Ed Gillespie has counseled a president, led the Virginia Republican Party, and built a successful business. On Saturday, the longtime conservative and 2014 U.S. Senate candidate officially kicks off his campaign for Governor of Virginia with five events followed up with a four-day road trip that will have him crisscrossing the Commonwealth.

Gillespie, 55, will begin at 9:00 a.m. in Chantilly at his Northern Virginia Campaign Office, then travel south to his Richmond Headquarters for an 11:00 rally, followed by stops in Hampton Roads, Roanoke, and ending up in Bristol in Southwestern Virginia’s Fightin’ Ninth.

Gillespie easily led in a University of Mary Washington poll in September that had him with 19 percent. He was followed by State Senator Frank Wagner at 11 percent, and Prince William County Supervisor Corey Stewart at 6 percent. A fourth candidate, Rep. Rob Wittman, received 8 percent but has since dropped out of the race after winning reelection to Congress. Another candidate, Nelson County businessman Denver Riggleman, just entered the race.

In 2014, Gillespie came within a point of winning the U.S. Senate race in what was supposed to be a cake walk for Virginia’s Mark Warner. Since that time he has remained actively involved with Virginia Republicans. His hospitality suite during the December Republican Party of Virginia Advance in Richmond was one of the most, if not the most, attended and popular of the night.

Gillespie commented about the upcoming campaign. “I will be a governor for all Virginians and I am going to take my campaign to all Virginians. Cathy and I are ready to hit the ground running full-time. We have closed down our business and I am excited to be a full-time candidate for Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

He added, “Our economy’s been stuck in neutral under the McAuliffe-Northam administration, and it will stay stuck if Ralph Northam or Tom Perriello are elected to continue the failed policies of higher taxes, more regulation and expanding Obamacare,” said Gillespie. “Over the course of the next 10 months, I will lay out a substantive plan to get our economy growing again. We will take our message of economic opportunity and upward mobility to every voter in every corner of our great Commonwealth.”

Two Democrats, Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam and former Congressman Tom Perriello, have announce their gubernatorial candidacies.

Here is the schedule for Saturday’s kickoff on Saturday.

Northern Virginia Event
Saturday at 9:00 a.m.
Gillespie for Governor Northern Virginia Office
14504 Lee Road Suite C,
Chantilly, VA 20151

Richmond Event
Saturday at 11:00 a.m.
Gillespie for Governor Headquarters
2100 Maywill Street
Richmond, VA 23230

Hampton Roads Event
Saturday at 2:00 p.m.
Gillespie for Governor Virginia Beach Office
4354 Holland Road,
Virginia Beach, VA 23456

Roanoke Event
Saturday at 5:00 p.m.
Hotel Roanoke, Pocahontas Room
110 Shenandoah Ave NE,
Roanoke, VA 24016

Bristol Event
Saturday at 7:15 p.m.
Mellow Mushroom
3500 Lee Hwy,
Bristol, VA 24202


From EdForVirginia.com:

Ed grew up working in his parents’ grocery store, the JC Market. The son of an Irish immigrant, Ed started his career as a Senate parking lot attendant and eventually worked his way up to become Counselor to President George W. Bush.

A former Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia and the Republican National Committee, a lead author of the 1994 Contract with America, and a long-time policy and communications aide to former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, Ed has always been a conservative leader.

As Chairman of the RNC, Gillespie in 2004 was the first GOP chairman in 80 years to preside over a party that won the White House, House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. In 2009, he was general chairman of Bob McDonnell’s highly successful campaign for governor, reclaiming the governorship after back-to-back Democratic governors.

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It’s Official: Perrillio Jumps In Giving Democrats 2 Gubernatorial Candidates

It is now official. Tom Perriello is running for Governor of Virginia. Perriello, former congressman in the 5th District, posted the video announcement on Facebook:

I’m running for Governor because I love Virginia. And for Virginians, we can do better.

From the Blue Ridge to the Bay, this is a Commonwealth of stunning natural beauty and inspiring, resilient communities. Growing up here, we treated our neighbors with respect and believed that everyone should have a fair shot at the education and skills they needed to flourish, regardless of their region, race or religion. This is the Commonwealth that gave my father, who had little more than loving parents, a chance at a great university and the American dream.

But too many families are getting left out of that dream today. Those who once built and grew the things that drove our economy have seen their jobs disappear. Those lucky enough to live near jobs can hardly afford the housing or spend hours away from family fighting traffic or the cable company. We all struggle to balance the demands of work with the need for more time with our families. It just shouldn’t be this hard.

Virginians deserve a system that works for them, but DC lobbyists drew our political maps to benefit their clients instead of our citizens. Too many common sense solutions die at the hands of radical redistricting and powerful special interests. But we can work together to find these solutions, and we can continue to be a firewall against hate, corruption, and an assault on the Virginia values of decency and progress.

The stakes are high. Let’s fight together. Let’s win together.

The news that Perriello was possibly about to jump into the race broke Wednesday night and quickly spread, catching many by surprise since Democratic Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam was the only candidate who had announced and, presumably, would have no opposition. The New York Times’ Jonathan Martin tweeted that an unnamed source said Perriello had called Northam Wednesday to tell him of his intention to run.

By Thursday when Perriello made his official announcement, a website, TomforVirginia.com, was in place as well as his “Tom 17” logo. And many were talking about the unexpected turn of events which was reminiscent of 2013 when Republican Ken Cuccinelli unexpectedly jumped into the GOP race against Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling. At least Northam was given a heads-up.

Bearing Drift colleague Brian Schoeneman has an excellent analysis piece this morning (see It’s Official, Tom Perriello Is Running For Governor). Reading Facebook and checking Democratic sites has shown there is some enthusiasm for Perriello, and one commenter even made the “next in line” argument as a reason why Northam should be challenged. Again, overtures of 2013 only on the other side of the aisle.

Brian notes how this affects the Republican side of the gubernatorial race:

For Republicans, the announcement is probably the best thing that could have happened.  First, it creates instant disunity in the Democratic Party, and sets up a difficult fight – something Democrats really haven’t had for a while when it comes to statewide offices.  McAuliffe ran unopposed in 2013, and Creigh Deeds easily defeated both other candidates in 2009 by close to 25%.

Democrats have not had a truly contested Democratic primary for governor in decades.  There’s clearly a lot of bad blood in the party after the national loss in 2016, even if Virginia Democrats can crow that they won the state for Hillary Clinton.

Second, it’s important to remember that Republicans have beaten Perriello before in a straight up fight.  Democrats can’t claim Perriello lost in 2010 because of redistricting, because the district was the same one that he won in 2008 on President Obama’s coattails.  He was an energetic supporter of Obamacare, cap and trade and other liberal policies, and it was that support that cost him his job in 2010. Those stances haven’t aged well.

Finally, and most important in my opinion, having a legitimately contested Democratic primary on the same day as the Republican primary will reduce the risk of crossover voting by Democrats, so the expected charges that could fly in GOP nominating fights about Democratic interference will be nullified.  The GOP races will be straight up, decided by Republicans alone.

2017 just got a whole lot more interesting.

Ralph Northam is a well-respected physician who is considered a moderate Democrat. Tom Perriello is the upstart, the go-getter, the campaigner. After losing his congressional seat, he went to work in the Obama administration but, with the GOP now moving into power in D.C., it looks like he’s in search of a new day job.

On the Republican side, there’s never been a contest with me because my candidate is Ed Gillespie. I worked with him as a member of State Central Committee when he was state party chairman, and I backed him when he ran for U.S. Senate (and came within a whisker of beating Democratic incumbent Mark Warner). Ed Gillespie is the best choice for Virginia.

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Gillespie won by landslide over Hill at 2014 Virginia Republican Convention


Ed Gillespie at 2014 Virginia GOP State Convention. Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell.

By Lynn R. Mitchell

At the 2014 Virginia Republican State Convention in Roanoke, Ed Gillespie soundly defeated Shak Hill for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate, and then went on to come within a whisker of toppling incumbent senator Mark Warner. Final results were Warner 49.2 percent; Gillespie 48.4 percent; Sarvis 2.5 percent (see How Gillespie nearly slayed Warner).

Monday after Ed Gillespie’s name began circulating for governor after Mark Obenshain announced he was not running, radio host John Fredericks wrote the following false comment on his Facebook page:

Gillespie barely beat back a woefully underfunded convention challenge for U.S. Senate in Roanoke in 2014 by Shack Hill — who raised a little over $20,000 and ran what amounted to a Mail-Chimp campaign.

Wrong, wrong, and wrong. Here are the facts with the numbers to back them up. Ed Gillespie won by a landslide over Shak Hill (and the other two candidates), as noted at the time by blogger Justin Higgins who attended the convention and asked, “Just how badly did Gillespie beat Hill?”

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Obenshain decides to sit out 2017; Gillespie for governor?


Ed & Cathy Gillespie at Republican State Convention 2014. Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Monday afternoon certainly perked up when the news began circulating that Mark Obenshain had decided not to run for the Republican nomination for governor in 2017 (see Obenshain will not run for Va. governor).

The immediate response from GOPers was who would run?

For the Republican Party of Virginia, we really need Ed Gillespie as our candidate for governor. His narrow loss when he challenged U.S. Senator Mark Warner in 2014 showed he was able to pull together the factions and unite a hurting party that is looking for a leader.

Ed Gillespie could be that leader.

Former Lieutenant Governor agrees. On his Facebook page Monday he noted:

This is good news for the Virginia GOP. It gives the party a chance to unite behind a mainstream candidate for Governor in 2017. Ed Gillespie ran a great campaign for the U.S. Senate in 2014. Should he decide to run for Governor, Ed is the kind of candidate the party could unite behind.

Could Ed Gillespie be the gubernatorial candidate to run in 2017? Stay tuned….

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Jeb Bush has Thursday fundraiser in Bristol for Virginia GOP senate candidates

Jeb Bush bumper sticker

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Java With Jeb. Billed as coffee and conversation with Jeb Bush at Bristol’s Birthplace of Country Music Museum, it’s the kind of team effort from a top-tier presidential contender that is welcomed by Virginia Republicans.

The former Florida governor will headline a Thursday fundraiser for the Virginia Senate Republican Caucus. As Shaun Kenney noted at Bearing Drift, “[GOP 21st senate district candidate] Nancy Dye has to be pleased. More to the point, this is the sort of team rally that candidates ought to be doing, especially in states where early support matters.” Dr. Dye is in a three-way race with Democratic incumbent John Edwards and independent Don Caldwell.

Governor Bush is paying attention to Virginia and has ties that make those connections even more important in this battleground state that has gone blue the past two presidential elections. President Barack Obama won by 6.3 percent of the vote in 2008 only to see that margin shrink to 3.88 percent in 2012. A Republican could win in 2016.

Bush has friends in high places in the Commonwealth — former Lieutenant Governor John Hager whose son Henry is married to George W’s daughter Jenna, Ed Gillespie who was right-hand man to President George W. Bush and former chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, Kay James who was a member of the George Allen and George W. Bush administrations, and Eric Cantor whose influence and connections run throughout not only Virginia but to the highest levels in D.C. and beyond.

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Happy Birthday, Kurt Michael, from all of us at LynnRMitchell.com

Happy Birthday 1Everyone at LynnRMitchell.com wishes the happiest of birthdays to our managing editor

Dr. Kurt Michael!

He has met many people along the way so here’s a little walk down Memory Lane. We’ve had an exciting year that will continue and only get bigger as we grow. Wishing this long-time friend many more birthdays!

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” –Galatians 6:9

??????????Kurt and Ed Gillespie

18aLieutenant Governor Bill Bolling and Kurt at the Capitol.

??????????Governor Mitt Romney and Kurt

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VPAP’s top news stories for 2014

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Virginia Public Access Project, more commonly known as VPAP, polled their subscribers and 475 participated (including me) with their responses about the top news stories for 2014 (see Top News Stories for 2014):

More than 475 VaNews subscribers participated in our annual top stories survey. Here is the result:

Story that will have most asting impact on Virginia:
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Gillespie relays story of Bush #41 respecting office of Bush #43

George W. Bush 47 with GHW BushBy Lynn R. Mitchell

Talk to any of the Bush alumni and they are full of stories about their time in service to the White House. Today on Facebook, Ed Gillespie relayed just such a story that happened during his time in the Bush #43 White House, and it had to do with Bush #41.

Ed Gillespie wrote:

With President George W. Bush’s new book about his father coming out, I want to share this memory from my time in the White House.
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Bill Bolling: Will GOP learn from Gillespie campaign?

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Former Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling has an excellent op-ed in today’s Richmond Times-Dispatch where he noted that Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ed Gillespie was able to pull many factions on the right together to come within a less than a point of beating incumbent Mark Warner. While that’s good, it’s still a loss for the Virginia Republican Party which has lost “nine of the past 10 top-of-the-ticket statewide campaigns in Virginia.”

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My thoughts: Gillespie concedes but close race damaged Warner during Va. U.S. Senate race

George W. Bush 46 Ed GillespieBy Lynn R. Mitchell

In a race that had been too close to call for three days, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ed Gillespie conceded Friday afternoon to Senator Mark Warner who will serve his second six-year term in Washington.

Gillespie came out of nowhere to surprise political pundits nationwide in a Virginia race that most thought would be a cake walk for Warner. However, Gillespie hit the ground running and never let up as he crisscrossed Virginia reaching out to voters who were dissatisfied with Warner’s lack of representation, his lie about voting only for a health care plan that allowed those covered by insurance to keep their plans, and  rubber-stamping President Barack Obama’s policies. Throughout it all, Gillespie kept his positive outlook and sense of humor even as Warner began to melt down when he realized this opponent pushed back, and when Puckettgate oozed into the media.

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VPAP update on certifying results of U.S. Senate race

By Lynn R. Mitchell

VPAP has the latest information about certifying the results from Virginia’s U.S. Senate race:

Step 1: Electoral boards in every county and city have until 5 p.m. today to meet and begin to ascertain yesterday’s results. They have until next Tuesday to certify the results and submit their final numbers to the State Board of Elections

Step 2: Voters who cast provisional ballots have until noon on Friday to deliver a copy of their photo identification to their local electoral board in order for their vote to be counted.

Step 3: The State Board of Elections will meet on Monday, November 24 to certify the results, at which point an official winner will be declared.
Step 4: Virginia has no automatic recounts. But if the race is within 1%, Gillespie has 10 days to request a recount. If the margin is less than 0.5%, then the localities are responsible for paying for the recount. Otherwise, Gillespie’s campaign must pay $10 per precinct — about $25,000.


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Gillespie’s statement on canvassing process

Ed Gillespie yard signBy Lynn R. Mitchell

On Wednesday, Ed Gillespie issued the following statement on the canvassing process in Virginia:

“It’s a testament to our volunteers and their incredible efforts that we were outspent two-to-one and yet the most recent unofficial tally has us separated by less than a percentage point out of more than two million votes cast. Now we owe it to the voters of Virginia to respect the canvassing process that is underway to get an official result. We will be watching the results closely so that we can ensure Virginians have confidence in the accuracy of the results. It was an honor to run, and I will respect the decision reached by Virginia’s voters.”
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Gillespie exit poll was spot on

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Tuesday evening at 6:30 the Gillespie campaign posted on Facebook:

Early exit poll shows the race within in one point. You have 30 minutes to get to the poll — if you are IN LINE at 7 pm. you will be able to vote. Share to show your support and get your friends to VOTE.

This was one exit poll that was spot on. With an election too close to call, here are the results as of Tuesday morning (from VPAP.org):

Precincts Reporting: 2,548 of 2,557 (99.65%)

Mark Warner (D) 1,067,342 49.11%
Ed Gillespie (R) 1,050,534 48.34%
Robert Sarvis (L) 53,463 2.46%
Write In 1,971 0.09%

Even though Warner claimed victory, it’s still too close to call and within recount territory. Ed Gillespie did not concede Monday night but cautioned patience while it’s sorted out. Stay tuned….


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