Jim Gilmore Suspends Presidential Campaign

Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore, whose campaign for President was largely ignored by the media, is suspending his campaign for President:

Former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore is ending his long-shot bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

Gilmore suspended his campaign following a poor performance in the New Hampshire primary, which followed an even worse showing in Iowa, where he barely campaigned and was the choice of only 12 caucusgoers.

Since his campaign’s launch last July, Gilmore, 66, could lay claim to the dubious distinction of being the longest long shot in a GOP field that at one one time featured many of them. After participating in the opening Republican undercard debate in Cleveland last August, Gilmore didn’t make a debate stage again until Jan. 28 in Des Moines.

His quixotic bid back something of a social media curiosity. The hashtag #Gilmentum was regularly seen on Twitter, and Gilmore himself even seemed to embrace his status as social media curiosity, tweeting after the departures of Rand Paul and Rick Santorum from the GOP field after Iowa: “Started out as 1 of 17 GOP Candidates, now with Rand Paul & Rick Santorum out, 1 or 9. #StillStanding.”

Gilmore’s exit from the race marks the latest disappointing campaign in a political career that once elevated him to national prominence. Elected governor of Virginia in 1997, Gilmore was chosen by then-President-elect George W. Bush in December 2000 to take the helm of the Republican National Committee. His tenure as party chief, however, was rocky and brief, and after reportedly clashing with White House aides like Karl Rove, he resigned the post after just a year on the job.

Despite his previous government experience, Gilmore was largely ignored by the media and had the dubious distinction of being the only candidate excluded from all of the debates with the exception of the first and last undercard debates. Ostensibly, Gilmore was excluded because he failed to garner at least 1% in any poll but in many cases that appeared to be the case because he wasn’t included in the poll to begin with. Personally, my perspective always had been if they were going to have undercard debates to begin with there was no rational reason to exclude a former Governor and national party chairman from the mix of lesser-known candidates. Perhaps if he’d been invited he might have fared better in the polls, or at least gotten more media exposure.

FILED UNDER: 2016 Election, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Gustopher says:

    He had 12 votes in Iowa, then 133 in New Hampshire — a 10 times increase! If he kept collecting votes at that rate of growth, he would have had the nomination wrapped up before too many states went by.

    How could you compete with the man who has about 100,000,000 votes in Minnesota?

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Jim Gilmore Suspends Presidential Campaign

    Jim Gilmore finally told he has no Presidential Campaign

    FTFY Doug, free of charge because my wife says I have to be nice today.