Ed Gillespie

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Ed Gillespie
Candidate for
U.S. Senate, Virginia
Elections and appointments
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sThe Catholic University of America
Place of birthMount Holly Township, New Jersey
Campaign website
Ed Gillespie is a 2014 Republican candidate seeking election to the U.S. Senate from Virginia.


Gillespie is the former chair of the Republican National Committee.[1] 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.[2]


Campaign themes

Gillespie listed the following issues on his website:[3]

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.


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.


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.[4]

—Ed Gillespie, https://web.archive.org/web/20141021205202/http://edforsenate.com/eg2/

Lobbyist career

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."[5]



See also: United States Senate elections in Virginia, 2014

Gillespie is running in the 2014 election for the U.S. Senate, representing Virginia.[1] 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.[6] 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.


Gillespie has been endorsed by the following:

  • The Virginia Police Benevolent Association[7]


Ed Gillespie's YouTube video announcement, "Meet Ed."

Ed Gillespie's March 2014 YouTube video, "Anti-Obamacare Ad"

Ed Gillespie: "We Can Do Better."
  • Ed Gillespie (R) 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.”[8]
  • 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."[9]

Ed Gillespie, "Mark Warner: Lie of the Year."


General election
Poll Mark Warner (D) Ed Gillespie (R)Robert Sarvis (L)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
University of Mary Washington
October 1-6, 2014
Christopher Newport University’s Watson Center for Public Policy
Sept. 29-Oct. 5
Christopher Newport University’s Watson Center for Public Policy
September 2-7, 2014
Roanoke College Poll
July 14-19, 2014
AVERAGES 49.5% 32.25% 4.75% 11.75% +/-4.1 667
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org
Warner (D) v. Gillespie (R) v. Sarvis (L)
Poll Mark Warner Ed GillespieRobert Sarvis (L)Wouldn't voteSomeone elseUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Quinnipiac University
March 19-24, 2014
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org
Warner (D) v. Gillespie (R)
Poll Mark Warner (D) Ed Gillespie (R)Someone elseUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Roanoke College
February 22-28, 2014
Harper Polling
February 4-5, 2014
Wason Center for Public Policy
January 15-22, 2014
Roanoke College
January 13-17, 2014
AVERAGES 50% 34.25% 3.5% 14.5% +/-3.4 853.25
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org

Campaign donors


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.[10]

Ed Gillespie (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[11]April 11, 2014$0.00$2,216,345.52$(244,297.80)$1,972,047.72
July Quarterly[12]September 17, 2014$2,316,698.84$1,203,492.37$(408,198.57)$3,111,992.64
Running totals


Gillespie is married with three children.[2]

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