Former Republican National Committee Chairman and White House aide Ed Gillespie plans to run for governor of Virginia in 2017.
Aides close to Gillespie say that he will formally launch a campaign for governor “at the appropriate time.”
Gillespie was considered a front runner for the 2017 GOP gubernatorial nomination after narrowly losing a race for U.S. Senate to Democratic Sen. Mark Warner in 2014. Gillespie said many times that he would not run for governor if State Sen. Mark Obenshain, also a Republican, decided to run.
Obenshain narrowly lost a race for attorney general in 2013 to current Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring and was considered a front-runner for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.
On Monday Obenshain told The Washington Post that he does not plan to run for governor and at this point is “content to focus on my service in the Senate.”
Gillespie is a close personal friend of Obenshain and aides say that he genuinely wanted to give the senator an opportunity to decide if he wanted to run for the top spot.