The Corner

Politics & Policy

Ed Gillespie Debuts New Ad in Virginia Gubernatorial Race

Later this morning, Republican Ed Gillespie’s campaign will release its second television ad in Virginia’s gubernatorial race, one of only two such races taking place in the country this year. Here’s an exclusive early look at the ad:

In an effort to appeal to middle-class Virginians, the 30-second spot highlights Gillespie’s fiscal proposals, including simplifying the tax code, eliminating tax breaks for big businesses, and cutting taxes for families and small businesses.

“Ed demonstrates for Virginians his focus on putting forward substantive policies that will grow our economy, create new jobs and make life better for all Virginians,” Gillespie’s campaign manager Chris Leavitt tells National Review.

The ad also emphasizes Gillespie’s role in putting together the “Contract with America,” a proposal signed by nearly all the Republicans in the House of Representatives during the 1994 election cycle, detailing specific, conservative legislation that the party would champion if it took back the House. (It did.)

Gillespie advised George W. Bush during his presidency and, more recently, served as the chairman of the Republican National Committee. On June 13, the GOP primary election will pit Gillespie against two challengers — Corey Stewart and Frank Wagner — but the most recent poll on hte race shows Gillespie leading both competitors by at least 20 percentage points.

Because Gillespie is widely considered the favorite to take the GOP nomination, there have been several polls testing his chances against the two Democratic contenders, Virginia’s current lieutenant governor Ralph Northam and a former U.S. congressman from Virginia, Tom Periello. In the latest poll, each Democrat leads Gillespie by over ten percentage points.

“While Ralph Northam and Tom Perriello continue to advocate for policies that have held back growth and weakened our economy, Ed will continue delivering a positive, upbeat message in every corner of the Commonwealth,” Leavitt added.

As the two Democratic candidates try to edge each other out in a calculated race to the left to capture Virginia’s progressive voters in the primary, Gillespie’s latest ad shows that he hopes to improve his odds in the general election by appealing to the state’s large group of middle-class voters and their desire for economic improvements.