When it comes to experience, it is safe to say that Ed Gillespie covers all his bases.
“I successfully started three small businesses […] I know what it’s like to put your house down as collateral on a loan,” Gillespie said in an interview with WUVA News. “I also believe that my experience as counselor to [President George W. Bush], counseling CEOs in the private sector and presidents and governors has been good experience that […] will make me an effective governor.”
Gillespie’s experience extends beyond the private sector and oval office. In 1994, Gillespie helped draft the Republican Party’s “Contract with America.” This document is credited with giving Republicans control of the House of Representatives after a forty-year drought. Since 1994, Gillespie has worked for the Republican National Committee lobbying firms and several campaigns, including press secretary for John Kasich’s presidential run in 1999.
“I think that the combination of my private sector experience, my experience in the executive branch and legislative branch, frankly my experience as chairman of the Republican National Committee and the Republican Party of Virginia will help me be an effective governor,” says Gillespie.
But Gillespie’s campaign is about more than experience. Citing what a calls a “lousy” 2% growth rate in 2015, Gillespie is “concerned about the future of our commonwealth.” He sees Virginia’s stagnant economy as its biggest public policy challenge and pledges, as governor, “not to fail our fellow Virginians.”
“ was the first time in five years that [Virginia’s economic growth rate] got above 1%,” says Gillespie. “We have fallen. Five years ago we were number one on CNBC’s list of best states for business. Now, we are not even in the top ten. We are in the bottom ten states for economic growth on a quarterly basis. That is infuriating to me.”
Gillespie believes that boosting the economy will enable high school and college graduates to find better jobs. Three years in a row, Virginia has seen more people moving out of the commonwealth than into it. By strengthening the economy and creating jobs, he hopes that graduates will find good paying jobs here in Virginia. He also sees the rising cost of tuition as a public policy fail that needs to be addressed.
“I am a believer in public higher education. We need to make sure that college remains affordable for hard-working Virginians,” says Gillespie. “I support subsidizing the cost of higher education.”
Not only does he support subsidizing tuition, but he also believes in-state students should have priority when applying to in-state schools.
“We are blessed with incredible colleges and universities in the commonwealth, both private and public. We are putting taxpayer dollars into those, so Virginia taxpayers rightly have first priority for spots in those […] universities. We need to make sure that they are able to get into them,” remarked Gillespie.
Ed Gillespie is one of the most influential Republicans to never hold public office. When asked why he decided to run for governor, he replied with the following.
“I love the commonwealth, am blessed to live here, I believe I would be an effective servant-leader for us, and that my policies would make life better for all Virginians. If you have that capacity to make that difference, I think you have a moral obligation to try.”
For more about Ed Gillespie’s campaign, visit https://edforvirginia.com