Former Virginia Gov. Gilmore participating in a Republican presidential debate prior to dropping his White House bid.
WASHINGTON – (CNN) Jim Gilmore officially jumped into the race for the Senate Monday.
The former Republican Governor of Virginia announced in an e-mail and on the Internet that he’s a candidate for the seat of retiring Senator John Warner, a long time Republican Senator from Virginia who announced earlier this year that he’ll retire at the end of his term rather than run for re-election next year.
"America has a lot of work to do and doesn't have the right leaders to do it," says Gilmore in his announcement, adding that "I'm running for the United State Senate from Virginia because I want to be one of those leaders who call on the spirit that is common in all of us, and use it to restore our country for the benefit of our people and in the eyes of the world."
Gilmore’s announcement sets up an expected high profile contest between two former Virginia governors. Democrat Mark Warner, who succeeded Gilmore at the State House in Richmond, jumped into the race for the senate seat earlier this year. Warner is not related to the retiring senator.
Besides being former Virginia governors, Mark Warner and John Gilmore have something else in common: White House aspirations.
Mark Warner contemplated a presidential bid last year before deciding against it. Gilmore jumped into the race for the White House late last year before dropping out in July.
–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser