Virginia GOP gubernatorial nominee Ed Gillespie on Wednesday started airing his first general election television ad in the Washington, D.C., media market, reintroducing himself to potential supporters in the voter-rich suburbs just outside the nation’s capital.
In the “Boardroom” ad, Mr. Gillespie emphasizes his working-class roots and says he is running for governor so that all Virginians can “realize the American dream.”
“My grandfather worked in a corporate boardroom, but he never sat at a table like this,” Mr. Gillespie says in the ad, gesturing toward a long wooden conference room table. “He polished it — he was a janitor.”
Mr. Gillespie says he inherited that work ethic from his parents, who ran a small grocery store, and pushed him to do something they never did: Go to college.
“I got a degree, started three small businesses and advised a president of the United States,” he says, alluding to his time serving in former President George W. Bush’s administration. “Where we start out in life shouldn’t determine where we end up.”
Mr. Gillespie is running against Ralph Northam in the November election and trails the Democrat in the latest polls.
Mr. Gillespie is hoping to make inroads with voters in the D.C. suburbs that are densely populated and have become increasingly friendly to Democrats over the years — making life hard for Republicans running in statewide elections.
Mr. Gillespie, though, showed in his 2014 Senate bid against Sen. Mark Warner that he could compete in Northern Virginia — winning in Loudoun County on his way to nearly upsetting the incumbent Democrat.