Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore said he’d “be taking a very close look” at running for Senate in 2017 if Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and vice presidential nominee, Sen. Tim Kaine, are elected Nov. 8.
If Kaine is elected vice president, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe will appoint a successor, most assuredly a Democrat, to fill the seat. A special election will then take place for that seat concurrent with the Virginia state elections in Nov. 2017, which Gilmore said he would consider a run for at an address to the Loudoun County Republican Committee on Oct. 24.
Gilmore, who lost a previous run for the Senate in 2008 to Sen. Mark Warner (D), spent much of his address hitting Kaine on his record. Referring to Kaine several times as “Timmy the Shifter,” Gilmore knocked the current senator and former Virginia governor for what he said were flip-flopping positions on off shore drilling, gun rights and abortion restrictions.
“He’s accomplished nothing as governor and accomplished nothing in the United States,” Gilmore said. “That’s why I suppose (Clinton) picked him (for vice president). She wanted someone who wouldn’t offer anything.”
“The worst thing is not what he’s done, but what he’s failed to do,” Gilmore added. “What has he done? Don’t overlook the fact that Tim Kaine on this ticket is not really a proud Virginian that we can all be proud of.”
After serving as governor of Virginia from 1998 to 2002, Gilmore lost his 2008 senate campaign bid in a landslide to Warner, 65 percent to 34 percent. In 2016 he mounted a run for president in a crowded Republican field but failed to gain any traction. He finished in last place in the Iowa Caucuses, winning only 12 votes out of nearly 200,000 cast. He tallied only 133 votes in the New Hampshire primary and subsequently suspended his campaign.
Since then, Gilmore has campaigned for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. He’s been attending events statewide for Trump, hoping to turn the tide in a state that polls show the GOP presidential nominee trailing by an average of eight points.
“We have no time for weak leadership, and Donald Trump will give us the strength we need,” Gilmore said.