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Former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie Announces Virginia Governor Run

Gillespie is a longtime political operative. Above, he speaks to the crowd during Mitt Romney's campaign election night event event in Boston. (Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images)

Former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie confirmed to The Washington Post Friday that he intends to run for governor in Virginia.  

There was wide speculation earlier this week that Gillespie, who narrowly lost a challenge to Sen. Mark Warner last fall, would mount a bid after his friend, state Sen. Mark Obenshain, passed on the race Monday.  

“My focus right now is helping keep our Republican majority in the General Assembly, and next year it will be ensuring that our Republican presidential nominee wins Virginia, but with my friend Mark Obenshain making clear he won’t be running in 2017, I’ll start laying a foundation to run myself after our elections here are over next month," Gillespie said in a email to the Post.  

Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam is also running for the open governor's office. Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe will be term-limited out of the office in 2017.  

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