Alarmed that Ed Gillespie barely won the Virginia GOP primary for governor in June, top Republicans from the White House on down are pushing him to hire some of the president’s strategists and more aggressively court Trump voters, according to Republicans with direct knowledge of those efforts.
In addition, the Republican National Committee has taken charge of field operations for the Gillespie campaign, according to two Republicans who called it a sign that the national party is worried about Gillespie’s team.
Aligning with Trump strategists could be a stomach-churner for Gillespie, whose résumé reads establishment Republican: counselor to President George W. Bush, former Republican National Committee chairman, lobbyist. Gillespie got behind Trump only after he had sewn up the 2016 nomination. Now, Gillespie studiously avoids discussing the president.
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