Failed Republican lieutenant governor nominee E.W. Jackson has been giving consideration to a run for the U.S. Senate seat held by popular Democrat Mark Warner.
In an email to supporters sent out late Thursday, Jackson confirmed that he will not run for the GOP nomination.
“After much prayer and consultation with my family and staff, I have decided that I will not seek the office of United States Senator from the Commonwealth of Virginia,” said Jackson, who lost with 44.5 percent of the vote in his contest for the lieutenant governor job with Democrat Ralph Northam.
Popular himself with the Tea Party set, Jackson said he had been encouraged to consider running for the Senate seat.
“Voters and families across Virginia are frustrated with the politics of division in Washington and want leadership that will unite people from all walks of life around the Constitution and principles established by our founding fathers. Out of respect for those principles and love for our country, I have answered the call to serve in the past and continue to do so,” Jackson said.
“The values we espoused on the campaign trail are not mere rhetoric. We believe in the principles of individual liberty, less government and regulation, and low taxes. We must stand strong against Democrat leaders who mock the values Virginians hold dear. They would destroy our coal industry, violate our constitutional right to bear arms and overthrow the expressed will of the people by attacking our Marriage Amendment,” Jackson said.
Former Republican National Committee chair Ed Gillespie appears to be the frontrunner for the Republican nomination. Warner had a 20-point lead over Gillespie in a poll released last week by Christopher Newport University, but more than seven in 10 voters polled said they had no opinion of Gillespie, suggesting that there may be room for movement for the Republican in the coming months.