Yes, Virginia, Ed Gillespie, will run for Governor in 2017. In a state that votes every year… the election cycle never ends…
— Ed Gillespie (@EdWGillespie) November 21, 2016
Gillespie announced his run via twitter this morning. This shouldn’t surprise anyone, after the former RNC Chair and adviser to President George W Bush ran a nearly successful race against Democratic Sen. Mark Warner last year. Gillespie’s popularity surprised many including those in the Warner camp. With the Governor’s mansion currently being occupied by Terry Mcauliffe, Virginia could use a change of direction in it’s leadership position. A seat that changes nearly every election, consecutive terms are not allowed by Virginia law.
Virginia has become a reliable blue state for the Democrats in recent National and Statewide elections, going to Obama twice and most recently for Hillary Clinton. The two Senators from Virginia are also Democrats, the aforementioned, Mark Warner and former Vice-Presidential Candidate now Senator Tim Kaine. Kaine has announced that he won’t seek higher office in 2020 but he will have to face a challenger in 2018. Northern Virginia is so deeply tied to Washington, DC that the larger counties often dominate election outcomes. It will be fascinating to see if Mr. Gillespie can break through the Blue Wall.