Gillespie announces Va. Senate run

Former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie made his campaign against Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) official on Thursday.

The former RNC chairman, close adviser to President George W. Bush and powerful lobbyist has long been expected to run against Warner. In announcing his campaign, Gillespie used a Web video to introduce himself to voters and tell a different, softer side apart from his political connections.

Appearing with his wife and three children in their kitchen, Gillespie tells how his father and grandfather immigrated from Ireland, supporting their family through janitorial work to give them a better future.

"My parents never went to college but they’re two of the smartest people I’ve ever known. And the hardest working. They ran their own grocery store, and I grew up working in it with them," he says.

"They insisted that I get a college education. And I helped pay for it, as a U.S. Senate parking lot attendant. Over the years, with lots of people’s help and advice, I rose from that parking lot to the West Wing, serving as counselor to the President of the United States," Gillespie says, as photos appear of him alongside Bush.

Gillespie also lays out his case against the incumbent senator. Republicans admit that Warner, a former governor, will be very tough to beat — polls have long found he's the most popular politician of either party in the swing state.

The Republican lays out his his case against Warner in the two-minute Web ad, hitting him for supporting the president's healthcare reform bill and on debt and taxes.

Gillespie argues that he would "replace" ObamaCare -- but doesn't address repealing the law, a popular push especially among conservatives.

Read more from The Hill.