Fresh off a razor-thin primary victory, Republican gubernatorial nominee Ed Gillespie stopped in Leesburg today to thank supporters and rally enthusiasm for the GOP’s statewide ticket.
Republicans gathered at the Green Turtle restaurant to congratulate Gillespie and his wife, Cathy. The Fairfax County resident and former National Republican Committee chairman survived an unexpectedly close race during Tuesday’s party primary, beating Prince William County Chairman Corey Stewart by less than 2 percent of the statewide vote. Expecting another “dog fight” through November, Gillespie told supporters that an early post-primary poll showed he was deadlocked with Democratic nominee Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, with 8 percent of respondents undecided.
Introduced to the crowd by Del. Tag Greason (R-32) and flanked by Del. Dave LaRock (R-33), Sen. Dick Black (R-27) and 87th House District candidate Subba Kolla, Gillespie outlined his platform of a phased 10 percent income tax reduction; improved workforce training; more education choices, including public charter schools and vouchers; and continued support for the commonwealth’s right to work and gun laws. He criticized Northam as “taking a hard left turn” during the Democratic primary campaign by advocating unions and cap-and-trade energy legislation that Republican said would hurt businesses. Gillespie said big concerns are that Virginia in recent years has fallen in the rankings of the best states for business and has seen tepid economic growth, but that Northam’s policies would be unlikely to reverse those trends.
“Those are just some of the choices in this election. They are a clear and they are stark and they are bright lines,” Gillespie said. ”The decisions we make over the course of the next few months are going to determine the future of the commonwealth, not for the next four year, but for the next 30 years. I promise you.”