Saturday October 6, 2007
Six years ago Jim Gilmore was wrapping up a stint as governor of one of America's reddest states. He was a Republican working alongside a Republican Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General and with both the House of Delegates and State Senate firmly in GOP hands, the state's political future seemed set.
Fast forward to 2007, when Virginians have voted in Democrats in back-to-back gubernatorial elections, they voted out what was once a popular Republican U.S. Senator and they seem poised to boot the GOP from control of the State Senate.
On Saturday at the 28th Annual Greene County GOP Pig Roast, party faithful turned their attention back to Gilmore, who after serving as Chairman of the Republican National Committee, made a brief and unsuccessful run for the presidency.
Gilmore's long been rumored to want back in to Virginia politics, and with longtime Sen. John Warner announcing his retirement, the time seems right for a run.
So with a bluegrass band behind him, Gilmore sent supporters into a frenzy Saturday as he talked about immigration and the need for change within the party.
Later he told us he's weighing his political options, whether it's the Senate or something more familiar.
"I'm certainly receiving a lot of encouragement to run for the United States Senate or for Governor again," Gilmore said before adding, "so we're gonna explore that."
Folks we talked to at the event came from both political parties, but all seemed excited at Gilmore's potential re-entry into politics. The former governor says he's going to weigh his options and that there's no official timetable for a decision.
Should he decide to enter the fray for John Warner's Senate seat, he'd likely first have to defeat his friend and fellow Republican, Rep. Tom Davis, before facing off against another former Virginia Governor, Mark Warner, who seems a shoe-in for the Democratic nomination.
If GIlmore wants to be successful in any potential run, he'll likely have to drum up grassroots support at more events just like the Greene County Pig Roast.