February 13th, 2009
11:02 AM ET
10 years ago

Bush adviser to assist in Virginia governor's race

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/13/art.gillespie.gi.jpg caption=" Gillespie will serve as general chairman of Bob McDonnell's campaign for governor."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Ed Gillespie, a longtime adviser to George W. Bush, announced Friday he will serve as general chairman of Republican Bob McDonnell’s campaign for governor in Virginia.

McDonnell said in a statement that Gillespie, who ran the Republican National Committee from 2003 to 2005, has “a record of winning tough campaigns and helping to develop and enact policies that make life better for our citizens.”

McDonnell campaign manager Phil Cox said Gillespie “will be involved in every aspect of the campaign, from policy development to strategic decisions to fundraising.”

Gillespie’s ties to Bush extend back to the 2000 campaign, when he served as a senior communications adviser to the then-Texas governor. He went on to serve as RNC chairman during the administration and became a familiar face on Sunday talk shows. Gillespie is a founding party of the Washington lobbying firm Quinn, Gillespie and Associates, but he severed financial ties to the firm after he returned to serve in the White House in 2007. Cox said he is no longer a lobbyist.

Gillespie, a resident of Fairfax County, has also been a player in Virginia politics: He advised George Allen during his failed Senate re-election bid in 2006, and he briefly chaired the Republican Party of Virginia in 2006 and 2007.

Gillespie will likely be one of many prominent Republican leaders to help McDonnell, the commonwealth’s attorney general, as he seeks to win back the governor’s mansion from Democrats this fall. The GOP is itching for a big win after their drubbing in November, and the Virginia race will be a crucial test of President Obama’s political mettle in an off-year.

Bobby Jindal, Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson have all campaigned with or raised money for McDonnell, and John McCain is set cross the Potomac to campaign for him next month.

Story updated 12:38 p.m.

Filed under: President Bush
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. July

    Oh so in other words he is the man for you to LIE, CHEAT and STEAL ....... great pick.

    February 13, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  2. disillusioned already

    I didn't know Virginia even had WMDs......

    February 13, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  3. Obama 2.0

    So tell me, what will the GOP run on? Bipartisanship? Bringing the country together? Unity? Working across the isle? Or is there a new and improved platform!

    February 13, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  4. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    Funny, but I noticed the absence of Mooseburger Palin to campaign for Bob McDonnell. Maybe he doesn't want to go down in flames like McCain did.

    February 13, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  5. White sheets and pointy hats

    Would you buy a used car from this man?

    February 13, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  6. dan in Tucson

    Bob McDonnell better kiss his butt goodbye if the general public makes the Bush connection.

    February 13, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  7. susie

    Too bad our Representatives didn't take the time to read all of the stimulus bill before they vote on it.

    February 13, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  8. REG in AZ

    "Has a record of winning tough campaigns and HELPING TO DEVELOP AND ENACT POLICIES THAT MAKE LIFE BETTER FOR OUR CITIZENS". Something is wrong with that statement as it is contradicted by the statement that he was a "longtime adviser to George W. Bush". They won but the majority of the people never did!

    February 13, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  9. The Artful Dodger

    Virginia is still trying to recover from the last GOP governor we had, and we haven't forgot about that fiasco either! The Republican'ts need to reform their party and platform drastically before they become totally irrelevant.

    February 13, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |