Galloping Gillespie: Headed for Hills

Ed Gillespie, Senior Adviser for the Romney Campaign, speaks to the crowd on stage during Mitt Romney's campaign election night event on Nov. 6, 2012 in Boston.

Photograph by Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images

Ed Gillespie, Senior Adviser for the Romney Campaign, speaks to the crowd on stage during Mitt Romney’s campaign election night event on Nov. 6, 2012 in Boston.

Ed Gillespie, onetime chairman of the Republican National Committee and onetime communications director for President George W. Bush, has dispensed with the formalities of a primary election in embarking on his bid to unseat a popular sitting senator, Democrat Mark Warner of Virginia.

Virginia’s Republicans, anointing a candidate in their weekend convention in Roanoke, have taken a lesson from the last election — in which they lost every top office in the Commonwealth.

They have convened around a candidate who they hope can appeal to a broad swath of a state that couldn’t be more complex — from the high hills west of Roanake, more like Kentucky and West Virginia, to the sprawling suburbs of Washington, D.C., where the leading Democratic candidate for an open congressional seat is campaigning on gun control and “I (Heart) Obamacare” flyers.

“Hold Mark Warner accountable for his record of voting in lock-step with President Obama on out-of-control spending and being the deciding vote on the disastrous Obamacare policy,” Gillespie’s “Ed for Senate” website says.

Gillespie has started his campaign in the hills.

In Virginia, a red state turned blue, Democrats have gained serious ground since President Barack Obama’s first election victory in 2008. The governor, Terry McAuliffe, is one of Bill Clinton’s best friends. The Democratic senators are both former governors — and Sen. Tim Kaine is backing Hillary Clinton for president in 2016.

Yet Gillespie, a veteran of tough elections, says he has looked at the challenge of unseating Warner this year and concluded that it is winnable. His Twitter site notes that he’s a husband and father and that he worked in the White House — though it doesn’t mention which one. And there’s no reference to his party there.

“The new normal is the old mediocre,” Gillespie says at that Twitter page. “We can do better.”

What do you think about this article? Comment below!