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Gilmore Suspends His Communications Director

Tim Craig

Republican Senate candidate James S. Gilmore III suspended his communications director, Ana Gamonal, for two weeks without pay because she allegedly sent a misleading email to Democratic candidate Mark R. Warner's campaign.

Dick Leggitt, Gilmore's senior strategist, said Gamonal sent an email to Warner's campaign under a false name and asked to be put on the Democrat's email list. Leggitt said Warner campaign officials confronted Gamonal after they learned her real identity.

Gamonal told Leggitt and other Gilmore advisers about the incident earlier today. Gilmore decided to suspend Gamonal without pay.

"Governor Gilmore is all about transparency," Leggitt said. "We don't deceive people. We don't pretend we are something we are not so it is not the kind of thing we want anyone on our staff doing."

It's not uncommon for staffers for one campaign, either knowingly or deceptively, to be on their opponents email list. But Leggitt said Gamonal should have identified herself in the email, which he said was sent from her home computer.

"Without the knowledge or consent from the Jim Gilmore for Senate Campaign, I sent an email message from my home email account using a name other than my own requesting the Mark Warner for Senate campaign add me to their press list," Gamonal said in a statement. "I apologize for my lack of judgment, and I also apologize to both former Gov. Warner and Gov. Gilmore for my inappropriate email."

Gilmore has made honesty a central issue in his campaign against Warner. Gilmore has accused Warner, a former governor, of misleading the public about the need for a $1.4 billion tax increase in 2004.

"Governor Gilmore believes you need to be who you are," Leggitt said. "If she wanted to be put on the list, she should have just asked to be on the list and let them decide whether to add her."

Kevin Hall, a Warner spokesman, said Warner accepts Gamonal's apology.

"We look forward to seeing her back out on the campaign trail," Hall said.

By Tim Craig  |  September 19, 2008; 4:11 PM ET
Categories:  Mark Warner , Tim Craig  
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So I guess when he says "We don't deceive people. We don't pretend we are something we are not so it is not the kind of thing we want anyone on our staff doing," the "we" doesn't refer to, like, the director of communications. Good job, morons, way to waste a ton o'cash on an unwinnable election.

Posted by: mike8 | September 19, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I guess my reaction to this story is this: Gilmore actually has a communications director? Go figure.

Posted by: HisRoc | September 19, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

this is most ludicrous crock of excrement ... Gilmore was all about deceit, deception, dirty tactics, personal slime, etc., as governor and as a candidate...

His whole campaign & reign was a Johnny One Note fraud based on the car tax, in which he lied, cooked the books, etc., and finally got caught.

he is in no way different now, just about to be an even bigger loser than he's been in the past.

What a pathetic moron.

Posted by: fendertweed | September 19, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse

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