Jim Gilmore is a politician who served as the 68th Governor of Virginia from 1998 - 2002, and is vying for the Republican presidential nomination during the 2016 election.
Gilmore was born into a lower-middle class family in Richmond, Virginia on October 6, 1949. He was raised in Virginia and graduated with an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia in 1971. After college Gilmore enlisted in the army and received extensive language training, eventually serving in West Germany during the Vietnam War as an army counterintelligence agent. He attended the University of Virginia Law School following his military service, and graduated in 1977. For the next decade Gilmore worked as an attorney, and was elected the “Commonwealth's attorney,” in his home county in 1987. Gilmore was elected as Virginia's attorney general in 1993 and resigned in 1997, after one term, to run for Governor. Jim Gilmore faced a tough election against the sitting Lieutenant Governor, but was elected by a margin of 13 points.
As Governor Gilmore supported the death penalty, and 37 inmates were executed during his tenure. In 1999 legislation was signed into law by Gilmore that reduced the cost of tuition at public colleges by 20%. The economic downturn of the early 2000's as well as the September 11, 2001 attacks on buildings in New York and Virginia severely impacted Virginia's financial standing. In an attempt to balance the budget, Gilmore slashed funding to all government agencies except the department of education. Governors in Virginia are limited to one consecutive term by the state constitution, and Gilmore's term ended in 2002. During his last year in the governorship, he was the chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC). He serves on the board of directors of the NRA.
A short-lived presidential campaign was launched by Gilmore in 2008, but he called the campaign off due to innability to create an effective fundraising structure. Later in 2008 Gilmore ran for a Senate seat, but won only 4 counties and was defeated in a landslide.
On July 29, 2015, Jim Gilmore officially announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for President. After a poor showing in every primary, Gilmore suspended his campaign on February 12, 2016.
U.S. - Israel Relationship
- “America must send a clear message that we are committed to the nation of Israel, and we must make it clear to the Arab community that they must respect the right for Israel to exist.”
(NewsMax TV, July 23, 2014)
- “If I was (sic) President, I would not have entered into the agreement with Iran that lifts the sanctions, allows for new arms to flow to Iran and does not stop Iranian support for terrorism across the Middle East and indeed the world.”
(NewsWeek, August 26, 2015)
- “By readying an agreement with Iran on the future of its nuclear weapons program, the president is pursuing a policy that could readily and comprehensively destabilize the Middle East or, worse still, give Iran a clear path to nuclear dominance of the entire region.”
(Washington Times, April 2, 2015)
Hamas and the Situation in Gaza
- “I deplore the kidnapping and murder of the Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Fraenkel by Hamas, and I support the State of Israel as it defends itself against continued Hamas violence. Israeli citizens should not have to live their lives in fear of Hamas rocket fire, and I call upon Hamas to end its attacks against Israel. I stand with Israel during this difficult time and look forward to the day the murderers of these three young boys are brought to justice.”
(Jim Gilmore Press Release, July 9, 2014)
- “No sovereign nation (Israel) should be suffering this kind of attack. The Israeli’s would not be eliminating Hamas’ tunnels if they were not under rocket attacks from militants in Gaza.”
(NewsMax TV, July 23, 2014)