WASHINGTON (WTVR/CNN) — Former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie Thursday launched his campaign to try to unseat Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia. He did not stage an event but launched a website for his campaign.
He also posted a campaign video to YouTube.
Gillespie, who has been testing the waters for several months, will begin traveling around the state meeting with activists.
One of his first focuses, one of the sources said, will be the Republican state convention in June where the party’s nominee will be decided. Two lesser well-known Republicans also are seeking the nomination.
Gillespie, who serves as chairman of the largest group of GOP state leaders the Republican State Leadership Committee, has served in major leadership posts for Republicans for many years, including in the George W. Bush White House and advising the candidacies of Mitt Romney in his 2012 presidential run and Bob McDonnell for Virginia governor and also has worked as a lobbyist in Washington.
Those jobs have given Gillespie major access to Republican donors which he will need if he wins the nomination.
Warner, a moderate and a former Virginia governor who will be running for a second term in the Senate, has a large war chest ready for the campaign.
Analysts have said if Gillespie does win the nomination it will make the race much more competitive than they initially expected.