Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore suspended his U.S. presidential bid Friday, joining the other Republican dropouts in the wake of the New Hampshire primary election, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Hewlett-Packard Co. CEO Carly Fiorina.
Gilmore failed to gain momentum during his presidential bid. He received 0 percent support in the Granite State, attracting just 133 votes. During the Iowa caucuses, he garnered only 12 votes.
Gilmore was not invited to the Republican presidential candidates debate in South Carolina Saturday evening, as Politico reported. Social media reactions to Gilmore’s decision showed how completely the candidate had failed to emerge from the crowded GOP field.
BREAKING: Many people now learning there’s a man named Jim Gilmore who was running for president https://t.co/ifT4WipytW
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) February 12, 2016
Gilmore served as governor of Virginia from 1998 to 2002. He previously served in the U.S. Army in counterintelligence. He was the 17th Republican to enter the race. Ohio Gov. John Kasich tweeted about Gilmore’s service and wished him luck.
.@Gov_Gilmore felt the call to serve in both our military and elected office. That courage should be honored. Best of luck, governor! -John
— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) February 12, 2016
Gilmore, who had explored a presidential run in 2007, said he would support the eventual Republican nominee.
“I will continue to express my concerns about the dangers of electing someone who has pledged to continue [U.S. President Barack] Obama’s disastrous policies,” CNN quoted Gilmore as saying. “And I will continue to do everything I can to ensure that our next president is a free-enterprise Republican who will restore our nation to greatness and keep our citizens safe.”
In the latest South Carolina poll sponsored by the Augusta Chronicle, Morris News Service and WAGA-TV, Gilmore was not even listed among the candidates that potential voters could choose. The candidates listed in the South Carolina poll were front-runner businessman Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson and Kasich. Trump continues to lead in polls, with Cruz in second place.