Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore ended his bid for the presidency Friday, having failed to garner significant support in the Iowa caucuses or the New Hampshire primary.
“My campaign was intended to offer the gubernatorial experience, with the track record of a true conservative, experienced in national security, to unite the party,” Gilmore said in a statement. “I will continue to do everything I can to ensure that our next President is a free enterprise Republican who will restore our nation to greatness and keep our citizens safe.”
Gilmore received just 133 votes in New Hampshire and only garnered 12 votes in the Iowa caucuses a week earlier, the Washington Post reported.
The former chairman of the Republican National Committee successfully ran for governor of Virginia in 1997, serving until 2002. The state constitution bars governors from serving consecutive terms.
— The Hill (@thehill) February 12, 2016
Gilmore next ran for the U.S. Senate six years later against Democrat Mark R. Warner, who had replaced him as governor. Gilmore lost by nearly a two-to-one margin.
“His quixotic bid [for the presidency] became something of a social media curiosity. The hashtag #Gilmentum was regularly seen on Twitter, and Gilmore himself even seemed to embrace his long-shot status, tweeting after the departures of Rand Paul and Rick Santorum from the GOP field after Iowa: ‘Started out as 1 of 17 GOP Candidates, now with Rand Paul & Rick Santorum out, 1 of 9. #StillStanding,‘” USA Today reported.
Gilmore and Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry were the only military veterans in the 2016 GOP presidential field.
— Kelly O’Donnell (@KellyO) February 12, 2016