RICHMOND, May 31 -- By a paper-thin margin, former Virginia governor James S. Gilmore III captured the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate on Saturday at a state party convention here that exposed some GOP doubts about Gilmore and highlighted the influence of social conservatives.The party will come together now against Governor Warner.
Gilmore defeated Del. Robert G. Marshall, a staunch opponent of abortion rights making his first bid for statewide office, by about 70 votes out of 10,378 cast. The margin was less than one percentage point.
Division at the convention underscored one of the challenges Gilmore faces as he prepares to take on Warner, who has raised more than $8 million for his campaign.What political contest isn't a slugfest these days?
But a Gilmore-Warner matchup is expected to be a slugfest. Each has vastly different opinions of the other's record and competing views on how to change Washington.
Gilmore pledged Saturday to oppose raising taxes and support cuts in spending if elected. He said he will push to put conservative judges on the federal bench, support a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, protect the rights of gun owners and crack down on illegal immigration. Gilmore said he also wants to drill for oil in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in an effort to lower the price of gas.Well just be careful about Northern Virginia that wants to secede from the rest of the state....
Dick Leggitt, Gilmore's campaign manager, said, "We're going to base this campaign on an appeal to the working men and women of Virginia."
"I reject the idea the people of Northern Virginia will vote liberal and wrong," Gilmore said. "If we stand for something, we will carry Northern Virginia."Goodluck Jim.