Ed Gillespie Mulls Challenge To Sen. Warner, Cuccinelli Rules It Out

AP

Former Mitt Romney advisor and Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie is floating a challenge to Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) in 2014.

“It’s safe to say that there’s people talking about it here, and I’m listening to them,” Gillespie told Politico in a Saturday interview. “I’ve been flattered to have it raised. There’s plenty of time to give it some thought.”

The former RNC chairman, who has never run for public office, said he was confident a GOP candidate would have a real opportunity to win the Virginia Senate race. But he cautioned that three months remain until the Feb. 1 filing deadline to enter the race.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) briefly seemed to consider a run against Warner last month after losing the governor’s race to Democrat Terry McAuliffe. He said the idea of challenging Warner was “tempting” because of the senator’s support for Obamacare, an issue he credited with closing the gap between him and McAuliffe on election day.

But Cuccinelli specifically ruled out a run against Warner in a speech Saturday.

“I don’t mind not having an elected role in about a month or so. I’ve been in office 11 years,” he told party activists, as quoted by Politico. “I look forward to a little bit of a break. … but I’ll be back with you. I’m not talking as a candidate, but just fighting for these principles because I believe in them.”

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Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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