Links - Official Sites: Gilmore for President, LLC
Kelley Drye Collier Shannon, National Council on Readiness and Preparedness (NCORP), USA Secure
Finances: FEC, (2)
Independent Site: Draft Gilmore for President
In Brief -  Partner at the law firm of Kelley Drye Collier Shannon.  Chairman of the National Council on Readiness and Preparedness.  Chair of Americans for Freedom and Opportunity, a 501(c)(4) he launched in March 2005 but shut down in June 2006.  Chaired the Congressional Advisory Panel to Assess Domestic Response Capabilities for Terrorism Involving Weapons of Mass Destruction ("Gilmore Commission"), 1999-2003.  Chaired the RNC from Jan. 2001 to Jan. 2002, while Governor.  Elected Governor of Virginia in 1997 and served one term, 1998-2002.  Elected Virginia Attorney General in 1993.  Elected Commonwealth’s Attorney in Henrico County in 1987 and re-elected in 1991.  Attorney in private practice.  Graduate of the University of Virginia Law School, 1977.  Three-year tour as a U.S. Army counterintelligence agent in West Germany.  Undergraduate degree in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia in 1971.   Born October 6, 1949 in Richmond, VA.  [Timeline].

Need for a "Mainstream Conservative"
For most of 2005-06 two Virginians were seen as possible candidates for president in 2008, Sen. George Allen (R) and former Gov. Mark Warner (D).  However Warner decided not to run and Allen lost his re-election bid.  On Dec. 20, 2006 another Virginian entered the picture.  Former Gov. Jim Gilmore (R) announced his intention to form an exploratory committee stating, "I believe the current field of potential candidates lacks a mainstream conservative that is capable of mounting an effective national campaign."  Several months earlier, in August, a modest Draft Gilmore for President web site had started up lauding him as "the only person who can run with any credibility and bring about a conservative revolution in 2008."

Gilmore is most famous for cutting taxes; his December 20 statement notes that, "He reduced income taxes for military families living in Virginia, cut the car tax by 70 percent for all Virginia families, and he reduced the tax on prescription drugs for senior citizens."  In terms of Republican party credentials, Gilmore's statement noted that, "Under his watch, the Republican Party of Virginia captured majorities in the House of Delegates and the State Senate for the first time since Reconstruction."  Gilmore can also point to a year as chairman of the RNC at the start of the Bush Administration.

Homeland Security Expertise
Perhaps the strongest asset Gilmore brought to his campaign was his homeland security expertise.  From 1999 to 2003 he chaired the Congressional Advisory Panel to Assess Domestic Response Capabilities for Terrorism Involving Weapons of Mass Destruction, known as the Gilmore Commission, which produced a series of five reports.  In its 2000 report the Commission called for development of a national strategy for combating terrorism including establishment of National Office for Combating Terrorism.  Gilmore was still serving as Governor during the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.  After finishing his term as Governor, he continued to focus on homeland security as chairman of the National Council on Readiness and Preparedness (NCORP).  He and other leaders formed NCORP "to help continue the Commission’s work in developing a meaningful, community-level program that brings together all the stakeholders—responders, medical, military, government, corporate, academic, community—to educate, communicate and train every citizen to be ready and prepared to respond to threat and crisis."  He is also president of USA Secure, a homeland security public policy think tank.

Proceeding Despite Doubts
Gilmore had some sharp critics; the Washington Post responded to Gilmore's initial announcement with a scathing editorial on Dec. 23, 2006 ("Another inexplicably jumps in.").  In fact, this was a campaign that did not appear viable from the outset.  Gilmore was little known nationally and his relatively late entry into the field made it difficult for him to build an organization and raise enough money to wage a national campaign.  He had not put a lot of time into key early states, which is a possible way to overcome those limitations.  Nonetheless after several months as an exploratory candidate, Gilmore formally announced his candidacy on April 26, 2007 in a live webcast from Republican Party of Iowa headquarters in Des Moines.  He cited his concern about homeland security as a principle reason for his candidacy, and also touched on illegal immigration and energy independence, while presenting himself as a consistent conservative.

Gilmore frequently contrasted himself to others in the Republican field, for example using the "Rudy McRomney" slogan in his speeches, and treaded closest of the ten candidate to violating Ronald Reagan's 11th Commandment.  He participated in the major debates, but otherwise had a low profile.  On June 29 Gilmore underwent emergency eye surgery to repair a partially detached retina in his right eye.  On July 14 Gilmore ended his campaign, stating, "I have come to believe that it takes more than a positive vision for our nation's future to successfully compete for the Presidency.  I believe that it takes years of preparation to put in place both the political and financial infrastructure to contest what now amounts to a one-day national primary in February."

The Gilmore candidacy may have been in part an effort to raise his profile.  This became clear on Aug. 31, 2007, when Virginia's senior U.S. Senator John Warner (R) announced his retirement.  That same day Virginia's Republican National Committeeman and Committeewoman sent out a message inviting recipients to "join us in encouraging former Governor Jim Gilmore to become a candidate for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate."

April 14, 2007-Speech at Republican Party of Iowa's Abraham Lincoln Unity Dinner in Des Moines, IA.

Total Receipts
Total Disbursements
Cash on Hand
Year to Date Totals
loans $34,804.03
debts $128,927.37
2nd Q 2007 (Apr.1-Jun. 30)
loans $5,700.00
debts $128,927.37
loans $29,104.03
              debts $58,909.89
Note: The campaign held its first fundraising event on March 29, 2007 at the Richmond Marriott downtown.  It identified former Secretary of the Treasury John W. Snow, CCA Industries Chairman William H. Goodwin, Jr. and NewMarket Corporation Chairman Bruce C. Gottwald as being among the hosts of the event.

On the Web
(April 23, 2007 grab)
(Feb. 15, 2007 grab)

Copyright © 2006, 2007  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action