Gillespie is the former chair of the Republican National Committee. He owns Quinn Gillespie & Associates, a bipartisan lobbying firm he started with Jack Quinn. Gillespie once served as a counselor to former President George W. Bush. He was also an advisor for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign in 2012. In addition to the lobbying firm, Gillespie founded his own political strategy firm, Ed Gillespie Strategies. He is responsible for founding Crossroads GPS, a political advocacy group, with Karl Rove. In 2009, he co-founded the political advocacy firm Resurgent Republic. Gillespie was an aide to former House Majority Leader Dick Armey. Armey later went on to form the political action committee, FreedomWorks. Gillespie started his career as a Senate parking lot attendant.
The Democrats are targeting Gillespie over his lobbyist career. Gillespie defended himself saying, "“For the past five years, clients have valued my strategic communications advice as founder of Ed Gillespie Strategies. Unfortunately, Senator Warner has voted for job-killing policies, including casting the deciding vote for ObamaCare, and to increase taxes by nearly $1 trillion dollars and our debt by $7 trillion dollars since taking office long after I left my old firm." Registered lobbyists must disclose their clients when seeking office. While Gillespie was registered as a lobbyist at his previous firm, he was not registered at Ed Gillespie Strategies, where he was working at the time. He said, "I’m not required to disclose my clients. If, however, I do decide to run, I will seek their permission to allow me to do so, even before any disclosure forms are required to be submitted."
Gillespie is running in the 2014 election for the U.S. Senate, representing Virginia. On June 7, 2014, delegates met at the 2014 Republican State Convention to choose the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate to take on incumbent Mark Warner. Gillespie won the nomination. He was chosen by Republican delegates over senior policy advisor for Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, Anthony DeTora, veteran combat pilot Wayshak Hill and businessman Charles Moss. The general election takes place November 4, 2014.
Ed Gillespie's YouTube video announcement, "Meet Ed."
Ed Gillespie's March 2014 YouTube video, "Anti-Obamacare Ad"
Gillespie announced his candidacy in a YouTube video on January 16, 2014. He said that he is running because “the American dream is being undermined by policies that move us away from constitutional principles of limited government and personal liberty.”
The "Anti-Obamacare Ad," created by Gillespie's campaign, which appeared on YouTube in March 2014, attacked Warner for supporting the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. According to Human Events, "On the 'most important issue in the election,' says Gillespie, 'I was right and he was disastrously wrong.' Warner not only voted for ObamaCare, said Gillespie, he 'whipped it,' even organizing fellow Democratic freshmen—all of which has been documented on C-SPAN."
Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Gillespie's reports.
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