Following the 2016 election in which Republicans took over control of the House, Senate, and White House, President Trump and Vice President Pence have continued to make news while Hillary Clinton and her running mate, Tim Kaine, have been largely unheard of.
So what does the forecast look like for the Republican party in 2018?
They appear to be taking aim at the Democrat’s former VP nominee as yet another blow in this new Republican era. Multiple high-profile GOP names have surfaced with their sights on Tim Kaine’s U.S. Senate seat, and they may actually have the name recognition and financial support needed to succeed.
The former Hewlett-Packard CEO, 2016 Presidential candidate, and Vice-Presidential candidate confirmed this week that she is leaving the door open for a U.S. Senate bid in Virginia. As a current resident of Fairfax, Fiorina has an infamous history in political elections.
Specifically, Fiorina has an infamous history of losing them.Before launching her long shot Presidential campaign last year, Carly unsuccessfully ran in 2010 against Senator Barbara Boxer in California, and moved to Virginia the following year.
Fiorina is a fierce advocate for common-sense conservative principles, and could pose a huge threat to the Democrat’s stronghold on Kaine’s seat. Although she was unsuccessful in 2016, she defied expectations and brought many talking points to the forefront that would be used by Republican candidates through the entirety of the election cycle.
Her keen ability to fundraise was an attractive asset reviewed by GOP officials last year when she openly floated interest in serving as the new Republican Party chair. Although she did not receive the position, those abilities would potentially build a strong campaign against a well-funded Democrat incumbent.
“I’m certainly looking at that opportunity,” Fiorina told a local radio station on Tuesday in discussing her possible Senate candidacy. “It’s a little early to be making that decision.”
A name well-known among radio news junkies, Laura Ingraham has been a leading voice on the airwaves in far-right conservative circles. Last month, Ingraham confirmed that she was testing the waters on a bid to unseat Kaine, and given her powerful platform, a strong campaign could be in store.
Ingraham was instrumental in taking down former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor with the election of Representative Dave Bratt (R-VA).
“I haven’t made any decisions yet,” she told ‘Fox & Friends’ last month.
Gov. Jim Gilmore
The former Governor and 2016 Presidential candidate, Jim Gilmore is a name well-known in Virginia for being able to unify and produce results. Gilmore is in the unique situation where he can appeal to both moderates and far-right Republicans due to his 2016 candidacy (as little-known as it may have been).
He campaigned in Virginia for Donald Trump following the suspension of his campaign, and is rumored to already be laying the groundwork for a Senate bid. Gilmore is a man who won’t be swayed away from running just because another high-profile Republican may announce first as proven in his resilient, long-lasting Presidential campaign.
As Governor, Gilmore has a strong record of cutting taxes and supporting national defense and security – all issues important for the 2018 Republican Senate nominee. Due to his low profile nationwide, he risks the possibility of lackluster fundraising numbers compared to someone like Laura Ingraham or Carly Fiorina, but his voice is one that already has resinated to Virginia voters statewide. That may be just enough to unseat the Democrat’s 2016 VP pick.
Gilmore was not available for comment on his potential bid.