December 20, 2006
Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore plans to open an exploratory committee for a possible run for the White House in 2008. He says he will charter a federal committee in January to help him assess his chances for the race.
The Republican was elected governor in 1997. He also served as chair of the Republican National Committee.
Gilmore said there is not a true conservative in the field of Republican candidates. "There is not a committed conservative in the field who can put together a national campaign. I am and I can. I have people on the ground right now in Iowa and in South Carolina," said Gilmore.
Arizona Senator John McCain and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani are the front runners on the Republican side. Larry Sabato from the UVa Center for Politics says Gilmore is a long shot but you only have to look back at Jimmy Carter's improbable run to the Presidency in the 1970's to know that anyone can be a contender.
"You just never know. You never rule anyone out of Presidential politics because under the right set of circumstances, anyone can win," he said.
Gilmore's exploratory committee will begin work on January 2nd.