- Associated Press - Thursday, June 5, 2014

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Republican Ed Gillespie unveiled a five-point policy outline Thursday showing how he plans to challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Warner on the Affordable Care Act, energy regulations, education, taxes and government spending.

The former Republican National Committee chairman and lobbyist said he was releasing the plan for economic growth in order to give voters a better idea of how he stands in contrast to Warner.

“In many parts of the commonwealth there is economic pain,” Gillespie said. “This is a result of the policies of this administration and our current senator, Mark Warner.”

Gillespie is the favorite to win the GOP nomination at a party convention Saturday in Roanoke. Also running are Tony DeTora, a congressional staffer; Shak Hill, an insurance salesman; and Chuck Moss, owner of at a network consulting business.

In a conference call with reporters and in a two-page document released by the campaign, Gillespie said he would replace the Affordable Care Act, reduce business taxes, fight new EPA regulations, promote charter schools and support a balanced federal budget. He said he’ll provide more specific policy proposals after the convention.

Gillespie sidestepped a question about whether climate change was man made, instead saying the Obama administration’s policies will lead to greater pollution from less developed countries.

“Regardless of your views in terms of whether or not human activity contributes to climate change, the policy that’s been put forward to by this administration is not one, I believe, that would have a very beneficial effect in terms of air quality or climate change,” Gillespie said.

A spokesman for Warner called Gillespie’s plan a “cookie-cutter” stump speech, and criticized Gillespie’s past roles as a “partisan operative.”

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