• Ed Gillespie
Home State: Virginia
Person Website: https://edforvirginia.com/splash/join-ed/
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Ed Gillespie is a business owner, longtime conservative leader and a Republican candidate for Governor in 2017.

Ed grew up working in his parents’ grocery store, the JC Market. The son of an Irish immigrant, Ed started his career as a Senate parking lot attendant and eventually worked his way up to become Counselor to President George W. Bush.

A former Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia and the Republican National Committee, a lead author of the 1994 Contract with America, and a long-time policy and communications aide to former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, Ed has always been a conservative leader.

As Chairman of the RNC, Gillespie in 2004 was the first GOP chairman in 80 years to preside over a party that won the White House, House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. In 2009, he was general chairman of Bob McDonnell’s highly successful campaign for governor, reclaiming the governorship after back-to-back Democratic governors.

Ed’s Leadership in Virginia

In 2014, Gillespie was the Republican nominee for United States Senate in Virginia, losing by less than one percentage point in a near-upset of popular incumbent Mark Warner. The race was widely hailed as one of the best campaigns in the country.

In 2015, Gillespie led successful efforts by the Republican State Leadership Committee to help hold the GOP majority in the Virginia State Senate. The RSLC spent over $1.1 million in the Commonwealth, helping to fend off millions in outside money from liberal groups that poured into Virginia.

“With our vast natural resources, our fertile lands, our port, our people, our two and four-year colleges and universities, our natural beauty and historic landmarks, Virginia should be in the top five states when it comes to economic growth — not the bottom five.”

— Ed Gillespie


Gillespie listed the following issues on his website:

Replacing Obamacare

The single biggest drag on our economy right now is Obamacare, and the single most important thing we can do to create jobs, foster growth, increase wages, and save taxpayer dollars is to replace this failed legislation with sensible, market-based reforms that work. I will vote to replace Obamacare with a real reform plan that puts patients first and provides more affordable options. My plan is based on the belief that the American people want a health care system that provides access to quality, affordable care; empowering doctors and patients, not politicians and political appointees. They want a system that makes healthcare more affordable, lets us keep the insurance we like and the doctors we trust, and allows businesses to grow and hire.

Unleashing American Energy

The Obama Administration’s anti-energy policies are among the biggest impediments to economic growth. At every turn, President Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress like Mark Warner have pursued energy policies driven by a narrow political agenda rather than developing our domestic natural resources in order to reduce our dependence on foreign producers, create high-paying jobs, and lower utility bills and the price of gas at the pump for all Americans. While Mark Warner supports a carbon tax and cap and trade policies, I have fought against them and taken a strong stand against new EPA regulations that would raise energy prices for consumers and kill even more jobs.

I believe in an energy approach that embraces both traditional and alternative energy resources. I support oil, coal, and natural gas production—including responsible deep sea drilling off our coast which has been under moratorium since Mark Warner took office—because we can protect our environment while ensuring access to the domestic energy resources we need to create new jobs in Virginia, lower prices at the pump, and keep utility bills affordable.

It’s time to harness our energy production capabilities and our natural resources in the service of improving the quality of life of our citizens and prosperity, and to put a stop to misguided policies that are a drag on economic growth and damaging our international competitiveness.

Tax & Regulatory Relief

The onerous tax and regulatory burden on U.S. businesses and American families is a boot on the throat of our economic recovery, and simplifying our complicated tax code and streamlining regulations are essential parts of any pro-growth agenda. We need to reduce one of the highest marginal business tax rates in the world to make American companies more competitive, while at the same time easing the tax burden on individuals and families, allowing them to keep more of their hard-earned money.

Federal regulations should be subject to cost-benefit analysis, and outdated and unnecessarily excessive regulations should be repealed. Employers—and small businesses in particular—are being strangled by an unending cascade of burdensome regulations.

Education Reform

New federal mandates handed down from Washington cannot hope to address what ails our public education system. Yet Washington has been doubling down on this failed approach. The Warner-Obama solution to education has been to continue throwing money at the problem in hopes that doing more of the same will result in a higher percentage of students graduating from our K-12 schools with a quality education.

On the issue of school choice, parents have spoken. We want a greater range of options for our children, particularly those stuck in failing public schools. As your Senator, I will answer. I will work to make it easier for states to establish new charter schools, foster innovation, and ensure that our children are given the tools they need to succeed. Every child deserves a high quality education, which is why I’ll work tirelessly to empower parents to make the educational choices that are in their children’s best interests. Opportunity is enhanced by competition and choice, which is why I support public schools, charter schools, private and parochial schools, magnet schools, and home schooling, and support school choice programs that help ensure that all families have access to meaningful educational options.

Cutting Wasteful Spending

One of the most important steps we can take to get America’s economy moving again is to rein in reckless federal spending that threatens to bankrupt our country and saddle future generations with an unsupportable burden of debt that will dramatically reduce the quality of their lives. An $18 trillion debt is simply unacceptable, and we cannot afford the consequences of continued inaction. We’re saddling our children with debt to pay for promises made in the past, and new promises President Obama and Mark Warner made in Obamacare.

As your Senator, I’ll support a Balanced Budget Amendment (which Mark Warner voted against), work to reform and simplify our tax code, and fight to cut wasteful spending. It’s time we stop spending money we just don’t have.

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