Buying of the President

Published — July 30, 2015 Updated — February 13, 2016 at 12:43 pm ET

9 things to know about Jim Gilmore

Former Virginia governor becomes latest entrant in crowded GOP 2016 field


Update, Feb. 12, 2016: Jim Gilmore has decided to end his presidential bid.

Long odds aren’t keeping Republican Jim Gilmore out of the 2016 presidential race.

The former Virginia governor, who has already made multiple visits to the crucial early-voting state of New Hampshire, is expected to officially announce his candidacy today after filing his official paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday afternoon.

Several other current or former governors have already waded into the crowded Republican race — including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who are both expected to wield well-funded campaign war chests.

But for now, Gilmore is resolved to find a place in the field: “I bring to the table experience that others don’t have,” he told the Richmond Times-Dispatch earlier this month.

Gilmore’s resume certainly boasts some credentials that differentiate him from his rivals.

A former U.S. Army intelligence officer, Gilmore led the Gilmore Commission, a congressional panel that advised both President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush about the country’s ability to respond to domestic terrorist incidents involving weapons of mass destruction. He also served as Virginia’s governor during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Since December 2009, Gilmore has served as the president and CEO of the Free Congress Research and Education Foundation, a conservative think tank based in Virginia.

Here’s more about Gilmore’s financial and political past:

  • Jim Gilmore has been paid $450,000 by the Free Congress Foundation — about 20% of the roughly $2.1 million it’s raised since 2010.
  • In 2014, Jim Gilmore launched a super PAC called Growth PAC, which supported GOP pols including Joni Ernst, Thom Tillis & Ed Gillespie.
  • About 60% of the $280,000 Growth PAC raised in 2014 came from funds Jim Gilmore himself loaned to his nascent super PAC.
  • During his successful 1997 gubernatorial campaign, Jim Gilmore became a cause célèbre among conservatives with his “No Car Tax” pitch to voters in Virginia.
  • While Jim Gilmore chaired the RNC in 2001, it raised about $60 million — although he stepped down a year early amid tensions with the White House.
  • Jim Gilmore raised less than $400,000 for his unsuccessful 2008 presidential campaign, which he ended after officially running for just three months.

Sources: Center for Public Integrity reporting, as well as the Center for Responsive Politics, Federal Election Commission,, Internal Revenue Service, Virginia Department of Elections and Washington Post.

Image sources: Gage Skidmore/Flickr, Charlie Neibergall/AP, Michael Vadon/Flickr

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