Ed Gillespie was a 2017 Republican candidate for governor of Virginia. He was defeated in the general election on November 7, 2017.
Prior to that, Gillespie was the Republican nominee in the 2014 U.S. Senate election in Virginia. Gillespie served as chairman of the Republican National Committee between 2003 and 2005. Among Gillespie's campaign proposals is his Cutting Taxes for ALL Virginians plan, a 10 percent cut to the state income tax. Five polls were released on the eve of the election. All five showed Northam with a lead, although the candidates were within the margin of error in four. For more information, .
Gillespie is the former chair of the Republican National Committee. He owns Quinn Gillespie & Associates, a bipartisan lobbying firm he started with Jack Quinn. Gillespie once served as a counselor to former President George W. Bush. He was also an advisor for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign in 2012. In addition to the lobbying firm, Gillespie founded his own political strategy firm, Ed Gillespie Strategies. He is responsible for founding Crossroads GPS, a political advocacy group, with Karl Rove. In 2009, he co-founded the political advocacy firm Resurgent Republic. Gillespie was an aide to former House Majority Leader Dick Armey. Armey later went on to form the political action committee, FreedomWorks. Gillespie started his career as a Senate parking lot attendant.