Date registered: Aug 2002
Vehicle: 2021 SL770
Location: Fountain Hills, AZ
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Gilmore drops out of GOP race
RICHMOND, Va. -- Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore, a long-shot candidate when he announced plans to seek the 2008 Republican presidential nomination this spring, said Saturday he would drop the campaign after trouble raising money.
"I've had a chance to appear with the other candidates and I think I've stood toe to toe with them," he said Saturday. "(But) the reality is we're raising money in the hundreds of thousands and the front runners are raising in the millions."
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani reported $18.3 million on hand Friday.
Gilmore, who began raising money in January, recently reported about $90,000 in cash on hand.
The former chairman of the Republican National Committee had stumped on reducing illegal immigration and creating a new strategy in Iraq.
"I have come to believe that it takes more than a positive vision for our nation's future to successfully compete," he said. "It takes years of preparation to put in place both the political and financial infrastructure."
Ed Gillespie, former chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, would not comment on the late Saturday announcement.
Delayed by personal obligations and dissuaded by a landscape full of Republican hopefuls, Gilmore didn't enter the race until April.
By then, as many as 33 states had elected to hold primaries or caucuses through Feb. 10; Virginia's primaries were planned for Feb. 12.
That meant that Virginia, where Gilmore was celebrated as the man who cut the state's hated property tax, would have little if any impact on the outcome. It also meant that nominees would need large amounts of cash on hand quickly.
"I think the front runners understood that and they (have) created these fundraising organizations over the years," said Gilmore, who estimated the winning candidate would need millions of dollars by February.
"I've developed a national following," he said. "But that following really hasn't included getting a fundraising group together."
Gilmore planned to form a state PAC to support Republican candidates in the Virginia General Assembly races.
A run for U.S. Senate next year or another shot at the governor's mansion in 2009 also are possibilities, he said.
But Saturday's announcement could derail those efforts, said University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato. He characterized Gilmore's poorly funded effort as "a joke."
"It never got off the ground, never raised any money," Sabato said. "Naturally, his reputation has suffered and it will hurt him the next time he runs for office."
"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon