It’s official: More people are running for a major party’s presidential nomination than ever.
Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore said Tuesday that he plans to announce his campaign for the 2016 Republican nomination during the first week of August, making him the 17th candidate on the GOP side.
Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, noted in a tweet that is a record for the number of presidential candidates for a single political party.
The Democratic field is much narrower, with just five candidates.
Gilmore, 65, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch in an interview that he believes the other GOP candidates have not addressed the nation’s national security and economic concerns. “I bring to the table experience that others don’t have,” he said.
Still, he’ll likely enter the race for the nomination at the bottom of a competitive field that already faces intense fight to get into the top 10 spots to qualify for a series of televised debates that could prove crucial.
Gilmore served as governor of Virginia from 1998 to 2002, during which he chaired a panel — nicknamed the Gilmore Commission — that advised Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush about domestic capabilities for terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction. He later entered the 2008 GOP presidential run, but ended his campaign after about three months, citing a lack of funding.
Gilmore is currently the CEO of the Free Congress Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C.