Jul 30, 2015 6:55 PM

First on NH1 News: Gilmore to return to NH in next few weeks

NH1 Political Director - NH1.com

CONCORD – Jim Gilmore will return to New Hampshire in the next couple of weeks.

But this time, he’ll come back to the Granite State as a presidential candidate.

The former Virginia governor announced his long shot candidacy for the GOP presidential nomination in a web video Thursday, becoming the 17th major Republican to launch a White House campaign. The announcement came one day after Gilmore filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission making his candidacy official.

"Some may ask, 'Why am I running?' " Gilmore says in the video, regarding the extremely large Republican 2016 field. "I'm a candidate for president because our current Washington leadership is guiding America on a path to decline, and I can reverse that decline.”

Gilmore won’t be attending Monday’s Voters First forum in New Hampshire. Fourteen Republican presidential candidates will take part in the New Hampshire Union Leader organized forum that will be held at 7pm at Saint Anselm College and televised live by NH1 News on WBIN-TV. But Gilmore filed his candidacy too late to be included in the event.

But a top Gilmore political adviser tells NH1 News that Gilmore will return to the first-in-the-nation primary state in the next couple of weeks.

It’s still not clear if Gilmore will take part in the Fox News forum next Thursday in Cleveland. The 5pm forum is for the declared presidential candidates who don’t make the stage at first Republican presidential debate, which Fox News is hosting at 9pm that evening. Only 10 of the now 17 declared candidates will be allow on the debate stage, with the latest national polls determining who makes the cut.

“If he meets our standards in time, he will be in the debate,” said Fox News Executive Vice President Michael Clemente.

Gilmore’s made numerous trips to New Hampshire since the beginning of the year.

“I'm not interested in running just to be a showboat,” he told NH1 News a few months ago.

A former Army intelligence officer who was stationed in Germany during the Cold War, Gilmore served as Virginia governor from 1998 to 2002. Gilmore came close to running for the White House in the 2008 cycle. He launched a presidential exploratory committee in December 2006, but he called it quits in the summer of 2007, citing fundraising difficulties. (He also lost the 2008 Senate election in Virginia by double digits to another former governor, Democrat Mark Warner.)

He’s also a former prosecutor and Virginia Attorney General and served as the chairman of a national terrorism commission that warned about the dangers of domestic terrorism before 9/11.

Gilmore is once again facing very long odds for the GOP nomination. But earlier this year he told NH1 News he can be competitive in a field that include candidates with much higher name recognition and much larger campaign war chests.

"I think once it's known what I stand for and what I care about, then the donor community, I think, comes to me. And besides, I have a long history of raising money. I raised a record amount of money, $10 million, just running for governor of Virginia. Raised money when I was chairman of the national committee. I've raised money for other races all through the years," Gilmore said.


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