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Gilmore Wins Republican Nomination, Barely

Former Virginia governor James Gilmore (R) barely fended off a challenge from an under-funded socially conservative challenger at the Republicans' Senate nominating convention this afternoon, underscoring his campaign’s weaknesses as it heads into the general election against former governor Mark Warner (D).

Gilmore defeated state Del. Robert Marshall with only 51 percent of the delegate vote. Gilmore was unable to handily win over the convention delegates, despite his high name identification from his tenure as governor and past chairmanship of the Republican National Committee.

Gilmore now enters the general election at a significant financial disadvantage against Warner, who banked $5.2 million in mid-May. A sign of Warner’s financial advantage: His campaign announced today that it will be running its first advertisement Monday, a spot that highlights his work balancing budgets as governor.

By contrast, Gilmore reported $205,000 in his campaign account in May – and doesn’t currently have enough money to pay for a statewide television buy.

Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), a moderate Republican, was planning to run for the Senate seat but backed out when the state party decided to choose their nominee through a convention, citing the outsized role of social conservatives in the nominating process.