First on NH1: Ex-Va. Gov. Jim Gilmore returning to NH this week
CONCORD - Four weeks after he visited New Hampshire, Jim Gilmore's coming back.
The former Virginia governor, who's mulling a run for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, will be back in the first-in-the-nation primary state Thursday and Friday.
According to an itinerary provided by an adviser, Gilmore will hold private meetings with elected officials and various activists in Merrimack and Grafton counties, as well as take a tour of the Henniker Brewing Company on Thursday afternoon and roundtable Friday afternoon with Dartmouth College Republicans. Thursday evening Gilmore will also address the Strafford County GOP's "Politics and PotLuck" series, at the McConnell Center in Dover. The aide says Gilmore's making the trip on behalf of his Growth PAC.
Gilmore was last in the Granite State late last month, visiting a few days after he addressed conservative activists at the "Iowa Freedom Summit." During that trip Gilmore visited Riley's Gun Shop in Hooksett and the John H. Hargreaves Memorial VFW Post 10722 in Pelham. The former Army intelligence officer who was stationed in Germany during the Cold War, chatted with a handful of veterans spoke to a handful of veterans, speaking fluent German to one of them, who was of German descent.
Gilmore told NH1 last month that he's in New Hampshire to talk to voters, as he tests the presidential waters.
"I think it's worth getting out and speaking to people and listening to people a bit and finding out what their thinking is, what kind of candidacy they're looking for in 2016, what kind of person they're looking for, what kind of issues are on their minds, and we're still in that process," Gilmore said.
Gilmore came close to running for the White House in the 2008 cycle. He launched a presidential exploratory committee in December 2006, but he called it quits in the summer of 2007, citing fundraising difficulties. (He also lost the 2008 Senate election in Virginia by double digits to another former governor, Democrat Mark Warner.)
If he does launch a presidential campaign this time around, Gilmore would once again be considered a very longshot. But he says if he runs, it's not just for show.
"You have to look and see whether you have the wherewithal, whether or not you have the power and really get out there and compete legitimately. I'm not interested in running just to be a showboat. If I choose to run it's because I want to drive forward these main issues on behalf of the United States and the question is can I successfully do that or not."