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Gilmore Wins GOP Nomination

Anita Kumar

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.

By Anita Kumar  |  May 31, 2008; 1:55 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , James Gilmore III , Mark Warner  
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All that Gov. Warner has to do is to say that he cleaned up the mess that Gov. Gilmore left and it will be a landslide in November.

Posted by: NoVA Dem | May 31, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

why, I ask is Gilmore even trying......he's been the worst gov.........we don't want him in the Senate. There's no space for him there.

Posted by: jane | May 31, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I'll rejoice when Mark Warner wins his Senate seat and helps Democrats increase their control of the Senate. But I still think he should have decided to run for President; I'm convinced he would now be our candidate and we would have escaped the divisive and angry contest our process has turned into. And, we would elect in November a President who would be a far better one than either current candidate.

Posted by: donald169 | May 31, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

SO what he means is start saving your money for the next unnecessary Mark Warner tax hike.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 31, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

9:52 PM, do you want Mark Warner or do you want James "Fiscal Destruction" Gilmore to screw up the nation's budget in the same manner that he messed up Virgina's budget? The choice is clear; we need leadership in Washington.

Posted by: hokie guru | June 1, 2008 2:07 AM | Report abuse

If hokie guru is supposed to be an example of Virginia Tech education, Virginia is fukked.

Mark Warner can be blamed for pushing through a giant and UNNECESSARY tax increase. Are you blaming Jim Gilmore for 9-11?

Posted by: VT sucks | June 1, 2008 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Marshall - Warner would have made for a far more interesting race.

It would have been more Ideas vs. Ideas.

This race will be one Governor's record vs. the other Governor's record.

Posted by: NoVA | June 2, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

One governor gave us 9-11.
The other gave us a massive unnecessary tax increase.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 2, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

When I am president, I will give you both.

-Your Messiah

Posted by: Barack Hussein | June 3, 2008 8:12 PM | Report abuse

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