Chris Saxman continues to explore the feasibility of running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by a retiring John Warner. Phoning, talking, and meeting with possible supporters, Del. Saxman is laying the groundwork to perhaps challenge former Governor Jim Gilmore who formally announced yesterday that he will run for the Republican nomination.
If he decides to throw his hat in the ring, Del. Saxman faces a Gilmore organization that has been in place for months. He would also need to raise a substantial amount of money going into the Republican convention to be held in Richmond at the end of May.
While Jim Gilmore would bring extensive experience to the table, he would also face a hostile media that has been more interested in painting him in a negative light instead of highlighting the positives of his career, most notably the successful car tax campaign. He has a military background in intelligence, served as Virginia's lieutenant governor and governor, was Republican National Committee Chairman, and guided the Commonwealth through the 9/11 crisis.
Although less experienced, Del. Saxman, who is a Staunton businessman and has spent the past six years in the state House of Delegates, has a record of accomplishment and generally enjoys a favorable interaction with the press. He has served on the Cost Cutting Caucus, has been a champion for five years of school choice, and was a supporter of the 2006 Marriage Amendment that was overwhelming passed by state voters. His candidacy would present a fresh face that Republicans may be looking for after recent defeats.