Republican Ed Gillespie Begins His Governor Campaign

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Written by Brandon Jarvis

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A Republican candidate for the 2017 Virginia Governor election, Ed Gillespie began his cross state campaigning to try and gain momentum,  He made stops in Northern Va, Richmond, Roanoke, Bristol, and Virginia Beach.  He spoke about how he wants to send Ralph Northan, Mark Herring, and Terry McAuliffe packing.   His Campaign website provided us with the Republican Candidates speech below.

“I will lead our ticket to a sweep of all three statewide offices!  I can feel the momentum everywhere. This is the year Republicans in Virginia start winning again!

Poor Terry McAuliffe.  Just two months ago his suitcase was all packed, ready to leave Richmond for Hillary Clinton’s Administration…to be secretary of something or ambassador to somewhere.  But now he’s stuck with us, and we’re stuck with him.  But not for much longer!

Because in November, Terry McAuliffe, Ralph Northam and Mark Herring — we’re going to send them all packing!

We’re going to put an end to their failed policies and anemic economic growth. Virginia’s economy grew at a lousy 2% in 2015.  And yet, that was the first time in five years we got above 1%.

The year before that, we were 48th out of 50 states in economic growth. Virginia – in the bottom five. That’s just infuriating.

With our vast natural resources, our fertile lands, our port, our people, our world-class colleges and universities, our natural beauty and historic landmarks—and our location — when it comes to economic growth, Virginia should be first in the nation!

And we can be, with conservative policies based on our Constitutional principles of limited, effective government.

Lower taxes.  Fewer regulations. A modern education system that meets the workforce needs of today and the future. 

These policies would make us a more business friendly state — which we need to be. 

Just 5 years ago, on the CNBC list of best states for business, we were number one. But on Terry McAuliffe and Ralph Northam’s watch, we’ve dropped out of the top ten, most recently dropping from 12th to 13th.

For a decade now, we have been swapping out high-paying jobs for lower paying jobs.  It’s one of the biggest factors in our $1.2 billion revenue shortfall in Richmond. We’ve shed 69,000 manufacturing jobs in the last decade. Last year, our labor force participation rate hit a 10-year low.

Too many Virginians are working part-time instead of full-time. Too many middle aged mothers and fathers are working in the kinds of jobs they held as teenagers. 

Too many families feel the promise of Virginia starting to fade.  

Now, a lot of the headwinds we face here blow in from the North, from Washington, D.C.  I know everyone here is excited and optimistic that the new Trump Administration and Republican Congress can change those headwinds to tailwinds!

As governor, I’ll work to get Republicans in Washington to stop the war on coal, lift the ban on developing oil and gas resources off our deep sea coast, make sure Norfolk remains the biggest Naval base in the world, and get more of our federal transportation dollars back into Virginia to ease congestion and build new infrastructure. 

But one thing should be very clear to us right now:  We cannot rely on Washington DC to solve our problems in Virginia.  

We’ve talked for decades about the need to diversify our economy—to be less reliant on Federal contracts in Northern Virginia; on military spending in Hampton Roads; and on coal in southwest Virginia.  

Friends, that time is upon us.  It is here, and it is now.  And if the next governor does not respond with a sense of urgency to the challenges we face as a Commonwealth, we will fail our fellow Virginians.  

I have that sense of urgency.

And I will not fail us!  

And if I’m entrusted with the governorship of the commonwealth we love, I promise you this:  I will be an honest, ethical, hard-working, principled, conservative servant leader worthy of Virginia.  And we could use one of those right about now.

In this campaign, I’ll put forward a sweeping, serious plan to keep the promise of Virginia alive. 

Part of that plan will be modernizing our outdated tax code, and cutting taxes for families and small business owners and entrepreneurs,  while eliminating tax credits and government subsidies that pick winners and losers. 

For too long, our economic development policies have centered on corporate whale hunting—trying to lure a Fortune 500 company to move a headquarters or open a plant here, often with OUR taxpayer dollars.  

I’m all for attracting companies to move here, and I’ll be a relentless marketer of Virginia across our country and the globe.  But writing checks to big companies to move to Virginia cannot be the singular focus of our job creation efforts.  

Remember the time Ralph Northam’s VEDP squandered $1.4 million in taxpayer money on a Chinese company with a fake website?

What we need to do is make it easier to open a new business, and expand an existing one.  We need to foster entrepreneurship and small business formation. 

I grew up in a small business, a family grocery store—the JC Market.  J and C were Jack and Conny, or as I knew them – Mom and Dad. In my family, when you turned twelve years old, you got a birthday cake, a present and a four hour shift at the JC Market. 

Stocking the shelves, sweeping the floors, waiting on customers—taught me a valuable work ethic that’s served me well all my life. 

And it instilled in me an entrepreneurial spirit that led me to start three successful small businesses of my own. Cathy and I know what it’s like to put your house down as collateral on a loan, to meet payroll and pay rent in the first year that you open your doors. I know the risks that entrepreneurs take and the challenges they face. 

And my policies will make it easier to take those risks and meet those challenges. 

Now, liberals like Ralph Northam and Tom Perriello will say we can’t cut taxes when we have a $1.2 billion revenue shortfall.  But we’re not going to eliminate that shortfall by raising taxes on hardworking Virginians and reducing their take-home pay.  We’re going to eliminate that shortfall by getting more Virginians back to work in good paying jobs, and shrinking the size and scope of government!

In addition to cutting taxes we must repeal antiquated regulations that are a drag on job creation.  Our current policies create too many barriers to entry, protecting existing businesses often big ones at the expense of start-ups.  

Cutting and reforming taxes and regulations will help foster job creation, but without education reforms we won’t have a workforce ready to meet the demand for high skilled and well educated workers.

Virginia is blessed with some of the oldest and best institutions of higher education in the world.  But constant tuition hikes and rampant spending are making college increasingly unaffordable for too many students.  

Virginia’s public colleges and universities – and the Boards that oversee them – ALL appointed by the Governor of Virginia – MUST be more responsive to the needs of students, parents and taxpayers—not faculties and administrations—and that includes providing more degrees that lead to good paying jobs.

We also need to reform our elementary, middle and high schools—giving parents’ greater control over our children’s education. 

The proper role of government is not to guarantee equality of outcomes –but equality of opportunity.  We need to keep the promise of a safe, quality public school for every student in Virginia, to ensure that equality of opportunity. 

These changes, and others, will restart our economy and restore Virginia leadership.  I will put forward a positive agenda that unites us behind something to be for and that our fellow Virginians will embrace. 

I learned the importance of that when I helped write the Contract with America, which led to Republicans winning control of the US House for the first time in Four Decades and to the first –and last– balanced Federal budget in 25 years.

I will stand strong for timeless principles and fundamental freedoms:  The right to keep and bear arms, freedom of religion, and the protection of innocent human life.  

I will be a compassionate executive who gives felons who’ve paid their debt to society a second chance, but I will put an end to the McAuliffe-Northam approach of a rolling blanket restoration of rights to all felons, including even the most violent and repeat offenders.  

And unlike both Democrats running for governor, I won’t try to repeal our commonsense voter I.D. law protecting legal voters, while trying to pass a new law to issue state drivers licenses to people who are here illegally.  

Given all the challenges we’ve just talked about – those are their top priorities.  

We cannot afford four more years of a liberal governor. We are at a critical juncture.  We can continue to limp along, lagging behind other states and the national economy…

Or we can reform our policies, change the tired way of doing things and make sure that we keep the promise of Virginia alive! 

Where every child has a safe, quality public school and access to affordable colleges and universities. Where Virginia high school and college graduates land good paying jobs.

Where we lead in Technology innovation and advanced manufacturing, our port is the biggest on the East Coast, and we are producing high-paying jobs in a thriving energy sector.  

And where Virginians have faith in the integrity of our elected leaders.

We’ll have a dynamic economy that creates jobs, raises take-home pay and helps people lift themselves out of poverty providing a path of opportunity and upward mobility for all Virginians.

I want to share with you why that is so important to me, and why I am so passionate about it.

You see, my father was an immigrant to this country, brought here as a boy from Ireland by my grandfather, who’d found work in America. 

My grandfather was a night janitor at a big bank building in Philadelphia. He’d go in after the bank closed. He’d start on the ground floor and empty the wastebaskets and mop the floors. Over the course of an eight-hour shift he would work his way floor by floor to the top floor. The last thing he’d do was polish the big wooden conference table in the boardroom. Get home on a bus around 2:30 in the morning. 

My parents never went to college, but they insisted that I do.  I took out student loans and I worked my way through school at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. Waiting tables, tending bar, whatever it took. 

One of my jobs was as a Senate parking lot attendant, parking the cars of the staff that worked in the big office buildings on Capitol Hill. That led to a desk job inside one of those buildings, and eventually I worked my way to being Counselor to the President of the United States of America.  

From immigrant janitor to West Wing of the White House in two generations time.  What a country. 

My father left a country where if you were born poor, you died poor—for something completely different.

America.  America—where where we start out in life does not determine where we end up. That is the promise we have to keep. That cannot be our past.  It must be our future.

From our very founding, Virginia and Virginians have been at the forefront of that American ideal.  But today we find ourselves lagging behind other states, and we need to change that. It’s time for Virginia to lead again.

I will get us back on track, and we will keep the promise of ensuring that the next generation of Virginians can do better than the one that came before.

I know our shared conservative principles will make things better for all Virginians.  And I will be a governor for all Virginians.  I will take this campaign to every voter in every corner of our Commonwealth — and I will never, ever be outworked.

I ask you to join Cathy and me in this effort.  I will fight for us, and I need you to fight for me.  

 So get involved.  You can go to or text “ED 4 VA” to 38470 to join our team.  Together, we will win this race and keep the promise of Virginia.

Thank you for being here today. God bless you, God bless the United States of America and God Bless the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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