Ed Gillespie, the super lobbyist and Karl Rove ally who was a former Chairman of the Republican National Committee and adviser to George W. Bush, announced Thursday that he will challenge Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) in 2014.
As Breitbart News has reported, “Gillespie is closely associated with Karl Rove, whom Tea Party conservatives have grown to distrust after groups affiliated with him spent more than $100 million in 2012 with no wins to show for the spending.”
Gillespie and Rove “were the two most prominent people associated with Crossroads network when it formed around 2010, right as the Tea Party was becoming a force that would propel Republicans to historic gains in the midterm elections.”
For these reasons, he may not be the first choice of Virginia’s conservatives. However, he lacks strong challengers, on paper, for the nomination.
In the video in which he announces his run, Gillespie talks about his grandfather, who came to America from Ireland and worked as a janitor, and about his parents, who owned a grocery store without college degrees.
“I’m running for Senate because the American dream is being undermined by policies that move us away from constitutional principles of limited government and personal liberty,” Gillespie says in the video. “If our nation doesn’t change course, our children, and yours and theirs, will not enjoy the prosperity and freedom of previous generations.”
He calls out Warner for casting the decisive vote on Obamacare, which “kills jobs and costs families the insurance and doctors they like.”
“Senator Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) cast the deciding vote for it,” he says. “If I were a Virginia Senator, it would not be law today.”
Gillespie vows in the video that, if elected, he will “be a servant of the people of Virginia, and a leader for policies that grow the middle class and foster upward mobility, enabling people to lift themselves out of poverty.”
Gillespie, who has long been a Republican money man, will be able to raise the money to challenge Warner so long as he is able to convince donors that this race is not just a trial run for a gubernatorial bid in 2017.