WASHINGTON: Sixteen Republican candidates apparently are not enough.
Jim Gilmore, a former governor of Virginia, filed paperwork Wednesday with the Federal Election Commission to run for president, making him the 17th major Republican figure to enter the crowded White House race.
He is up against candidates with considerably higher national profiles, including former Florida governor Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Senator Marco Rubio and real estate tycoon Donald Trump.
Gilmore was governor on September 11, 2001 when hijackers crashed an airliner into the Pentagon, which is in Virginia across the Potomac River from Washington.
The 65-year-old has stressed his national security credentials would put him in a strong position in the 2016 race.
“I don’t think we’re addressing the threat to the country,” Gilmore told the Richmond Times-Dispatch earlier this month.
“I bring to the table experience that others don’t have.”
After four years as governor, he headed the Gilmore Commission, a panel that advised presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush on ways to improve homeland security strategy, particularly against domestic terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction.
Gilmore has not publicized an official campaign launch, but he told the Times-Dispatch he was planning a formal announcement during the first week of August.
The debut Republican primary debate is August 6, but Gilmore, who is not well-known outside Virginia, is unlikely to make the cut.
Debate broadcaster Fox News has determined that only the top 10 candidates in nationwide polls will take the stage.