Ed Gillespie: “I Know That I Can Make a Difference For My Fellow Virginians”

From the Ed Gillespie campaign:

In Norfolk yesterday, on the first stop of his “InformED Decisions” tour, 2017 Republican gubernatorial nominee Ed Gillespie heard from Virginians about the many challenges they are facing, and shared with them his vision for a safer, stronger Commonwealth.

In order for Virginians to make informed decisions about their choices in this critically important election, they deserve every opportunity to hear directly from their candidates about the challenges the Commonwealth is facing and the solutions they are putting forward to solve them. Ed will hold 6 more “InformED Decisions” stops across the Commonwealth, as Democratic nominee Ralph Northam has refused to participate in debates and forums that offer Virginians opportunities to learn more about the clear differences in the candidates.


Sometimes I get asked on the trail, and this seems to be in keeping with that is, why are you running? And that’s a really good question. Why are you running? And I can tell you why, I know that I can make a difference for my fellow Virginians. And if that’s what you believe and you love our Commonwealth and you love our country and you can serve and you can make a difference then I believe that you have a moral obligation to try.

And let me just share with you kind of what does motivate me. I’ve talked about this in some of my ads but I will go a little bit deeper than you can in 30 seconds, but I’m proud to be the son of an immigrant. And my father came here as a child from Ireland because his father, my grandfather, found work in America.

And my grandfather was a janitor. And he worked in a big bank building in Philadelphia. And he would go in after the bank closed – it closed at six o’clock at night, they closed their doors – and he would go in and start on the ground floor and he would empty the waste baskets, and he would mop the floors, and he would over the course of an eight hour shift work his way floor by floor by floor to the top story emptying waste baskets and mopping floors and emptying ashtrays, back in the days when you smoked in office buildings.

And he would finish up at 2 o’clock in the morning. And he would take public transportation – he would get home at 2:30 in the morning. And my parents didn’t go to college, neither one of them. Two of the hardest working people I’ve ever known, they worked on their feet all day. Anybody who knows, who’s been in the grocery business, you know you work on your feet all day long, right? And they insisted that my brothers and sisters and I go to college.

We were first generation on either side of the family to do so and I took out student loans and I worked my way through school at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. And one of my jobs, three days a week my morning job was to park cars for the staff who work in the big Senate office buildings on Capitol Hill. And that job led to a job inside one of those buildings, an internship there, and that led to another job and another job and another, and eventually I worked my way to being Counselor to the President of the United States of America.

From immigrant janitor to the West Wing of the White House in two generations time, what a country we live in.

But I worry we are losing that right now. And in fact, if you look at the data it indicates, and you look at the points I just made about more people moving out of Virginia than into Virginia, and we are now at a point where if you are 18-34 years old, millennial, your income annually is 20 percent less than when I was 18-34.

This can’t be the end of the line. We’ve always said the next generation does better than the generation that came before us. I’ll be danged if my generation says, hey sorry, it’s the end of the line. We got to keep that going. We got to keep that going. And I know my policies will do that. And so I’m at a point in my life, and Cathy and I are blessed and empty nesters, and I’m able to serve if I’m entrusted with that governorship.

And so that’s the answer is, I know I can do it, I know I have the right ideas, and I’m able to. And therefore, if you’ve benefited from the blessings of liberty in the way my family has, and you can make sure that future generations and other families can too, then you have a moral obligation to try.

And as I always say, if our next governor does not respond to the challenges we face as a Commonwealth with the right policies and a sense of urgency to get them done, we will fail our fellow Virginians. And I have the right policies. I have that sense of urgency. And I will not fail us. We will get this done.


The remaining “InformED Decisions” tour schedule includes:

“InformED Decisions” Southside
150 Slayton Avenue
Danville, VA 24540

“InformED Decisions” Northern Neck
September 26, 2017
161 Technology Park Drive
Kilmarnock, VA 22482

“InformED Decisions” Richmond
September 28, 2017
Time and Location To Be Announced

“InformED Decisions” Roanoke Valley
September 30, 2017
Time and Location To Be Announced

“InformED Decisions” Shenandoah Valley
October 1, 2017
Time and Location To Be Announced

“InformED Decisions” Northern Virginia
October 1, 2017
Time and Location To Be Announced