Nothing was ever more eked than former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore’s victory Saturday over State Delegate Bob Marshall for the GOP senate nomination to challenge Dem Mark Warner in November. Over 10,000 votes were cast at the Richmond Convention Center. Gilmore, the overwhelming establishment favorite who was expecting a coronation, won by just 66 votes (the final total: Gilmore 5,222, Marshall 5,156). The near-miss by the populist, social conservative, mega underdog Marshall — who has an excellent record him of attracting Democrat votes since his first Delegate election victory in 1991 – was a two-by-four upside the head of the Commonwealth’s GOP establishment. But the skull of a RINO is thick indeed: Within minutes of his victory Gilmore announced that he was prepared to enter the Mark Warner meat grinder by telling social-issue voters their concerns were not his. So reports the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star:
“We did not put resources into the convention that maybe we should have to get a larger margin,” Gilmore said. He said he has focused his campaign on Warner, and believes the issues important to general voters are different from the social issues driving Marshall’s supporters. Republican activist and Marshall supporter Shaun Kenney, a former spokesman for the party, said Gilmore “needs to reassure values voters that he’s with them.” But the nominee said he’s not going to change his principles to win political support. While he’s anti-abortion and opposes late-term abortions, Gilmore said, “I’ve never believed we should impose a strict law on women that don’t agree with us.” He also said Marshall’s supporters aren’t likely to back Warner. “We believe they’re going to be supportive of us,” Gilmore said. “The things they believe in are things Mark Warner never supported.”
Translation: “I will take you for granted because you have no option.” A winning strategy — for losing.