Gilmore officially enters Virginia Senate race

Confirming what had been expected for months, former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore (R) officially announced his candidacy for the state’s open Senate seat on Monday.

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Gilmore is the first major GOP candidate to enter the race for retiring Sen. John Warner’s (R) seat. Should he win his party’s nomination, he will almost surely face former Gov. Mark WarnerMark WarnerOvernight Cybersecurity: DNC hackers also targeted French presidential candidate | Ex-acting AG Yates to testify at Senate Russia hearing Schumer: Senate Russia probe moving too slowly Senate Intel Dem has ‘serious concerns’ on Russia probe MORE (D), who enters the race as the prohibitive favorite.

“I’m running for the United State [sic] Senate from Virginia because I want to be one of those leaders who call on the spirit that is common in all of us and use it to restore our country for the benefit of our people and in the eyes of the world,” Gilmore said in an e-mail.

Gilmore, who launched an unsuccessful presidential bid this year, offered a signal of his strategy against the fellow former governor, suggesting he will rely on his experience on national security and illegal immigration and will hit Warner for raising taxes.