Gilmore Suspends Communications Director for Joining Warner's Press List

Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore (R) suspended his communications director without pay today, his Senate campaign announced, after she used a false name to try to join his opponent's e-mail press release list, presumably to keep tabs on her opposition.

Communications Director Ana Gamonal tried to join former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner's (D) press list from her home computer using a personal e-mail account, she said in a statement, apologizing for the decision.

"Without the knowledge or consent from the Jim Gilmore for Senate Campaign, I sent an email message from my home email account using a name other than my own requesting the Mark Warner for Senate campaign add me to their press list. I apologize for my lack of judgment, and I also apologize to both former Gov. Warner and Gov. Gilmore for my inappropriate email," Gamonal said.

Joining opponents' lists is a standard practice among campaign staffers. "It's the first thing you do on the first day," a communications staffer who has worked on past campaigns told The Hill.

But voters deserve full transparency, Gilmore's campaign said, announcing it would suspend Gamoral for two weeks.

"Governor Gilmore believes the people of Virginia are entitled to full transparency and he will not tolerate any activity by his campaign or by those who work for him that is contrary to that belief," the campaign said.

Virginia's Senate race is one of the most highly anticipated in the country, one that has generated excitement particularly among Democrats. Warner leads Gilmore in the traditionally red state by more than 20 percentage points in recent polls.

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