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Gillespie To Be McDonnell's Chairman

Anita Kumar

Ed Gillespie, former counselor to President George W. Bush and chairman of the Republican National Committee, will serve as chairman of Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell (R)'s campaign for governor this year.

Gillespie, a former lobbyist and a fixture in national Republican politics for two decades, will be involved in every aspect of strategy, policy development, communications and fundraising, according to senior campaign officials. The Fairfax County resident will also be a frequent surrogate for McDonnell across the state and nation.

His involvement is further proof that Republcians are investing heavily in McDonnell's campaign as they fight to win back the governor's mansion in a state that has been trending from red to blue.

"Bob McDonnell is the right person to lead Virginia forward in these challenging times,'' Gillespie said in a statement. "His record of bringing people together to get things done is exactly what we need right now."

Gillespie served as chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia from December 2006 to June 2007 and was a political advisor for George Allen when the former Virginia governor and senator considered running for president.

"Ed has a record of winning tough campaigns and helping to develop and enact policies that make life better for our citizens,'' McDonnell said. "I look forward to working with him to bring our message of new jobs, greater opportunity and renewed prosperity to every voter in Virginia."

In his decade working as an aide to former House Majority Leader Richard K. Armey (R-Tex.), Gillespie developed a reputation as one of the capital's top Republican strategists, with connections in the media, on Capitol Hill and with GOP activists across the country.

Gillespie helped draft the GOP's 1994 "Contract With America," ran Elizabeth Dole's 2002 Senate campaign in North Carolina and worked for Bush's campaign in 2000 through the recount.

In June 2007, Bush named Gillespie White House counselor to replace the departing Dan Bartlett to help with his sagging approval ratings. Two months later, when Karl Rove, left the White House, Gillespie, was asked to help fill the void with politics and policymaking making duties.

By Anita Kumar  |  February 13, 2009; 9:27 AM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Let them invest....the House of Delegates continues to sully the chances of Republican control anytime soon in this great commonwealth. The republicans are going against the wishes of the vast majority of Virginia voters on bill after bill after bill....and whoever the Democratic candidate ends up being, he will be able to make that case quite well...

Posted by: DouginMountVernon | February 13, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

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