Gilmore Wins GOP Nomination
Former governor James S. Gilmore III narrowly won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in a surprisingly close race today at the GOP convention in Richmond.
Gilmore, after squeaking past state Del. Robert G. Marshall (Prince William), now faces the hurdle of uniting a fractured party that in recent years has lost the governor's mansion and one of the state's two U.S. Senate seats.
The vote total announced at the convention was 5,222 for Gilmore and 5,156 for Marshall.
A handful of people voted for a third candidate, Bob Berry, who took his name off the ballot at the last minute. Though Berry's support was not enough to turn the contest, Marshall supporters shouted for a recount.
Gilmore's successor as governor, Mark R. Warner, is the likely Democratic nominee for the fall election. Incumbent Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.), no relation to the Democrat, is retiring.
Several Republicans here predicted the party would rally behind Gilmore.
"The ones for Marshall will come around,'' said John Meyer, a delegate from Arlington who supported Gilmore. "Gilmore is a solid Republican, conservative leaning with accomplishments. All the people will come around."
Convention officials expected close to 5,000 delegates but many seats remained empty. The vote was not strictly based on the number of delegates but instead relied on a complicated formula that gave more weight to those counties that have supported Republican statewide candidates in larger numbers in the past.
Voting began just before noon. While delegates voted on cards, "The Best is Yet to Come" by Frank Sinatra played over the loudspeaker.
Next up: A contentious vote for state GOP chairman, a race between Del. Jeffrey M. Frederick (Prince William) and incumbent John H. Hager.
May 31, 2008; 1:55 PM ET
Categories: Anita Kumar , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , James Gilmore III , Mark Warner
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