Cementing his frontrunner status in his bid for the Republican nomination to replace Sen. Mark Warner, Ed Gillespie walked away with today’s straw poll at a function of the Republican Party of Virginia in Richmond
In a show of strength, Ed Gillespie outpolled his nearest rival, Shak Hill, by a more than 2-to-1 margin. The vote was conducted from among the hundreds of activists gathered today for campaign training and education at RPV’s Spring Advance.
Neither Gillespie nor Hill were in attendance, given competing party activities elsewhere (notably Prince William County’s convention). Sen. Mark Obenshain acted as surrogate for Gillespie, and gave a rousing speech about Gillespie’s intentions for his time in Washington. Obenshain got the loudest applause when he cited Gillespie’s promise to repeal Obamacare.
Hill’s campaign was not in evidence at the event. Yesterday, Hill sent out a statement urging his supporters to boycott the event in protest of the recent spate of slating. A more cynical take would be that the Hill campaign seized an opportunity to disclaim the validity of the results of the straw poll. I leave it to the reader to decide.
The final vote percentages were as follows:
- Ed Gillespie: 68%
- Shak Hill: 30%
- Tony DeTora: 1%
- Chuck Moss: 1%