Jim Gilmore became chairman of the Republican National Committee following the election of George W. Bush as president. He is also Virginia's 68th Governor, elected in November 1997 on a philosophy of cutting taxes and providing quality education to all children.
Gilmore is also the former chairman of the 29-member Republican Governor's Association and served as national co-chair for the RNC's Victory 2000 effort.
As governor, Gilmore has provided conservative leadership that has resulted in the largest tax cut in Virginia history, implementation of Virginia's nationally acclaimed Standards of Learning, and a safer, more prosperous Commonwealth, leading to the creation of 175,000 new jobs.
Gilmore's vision focuses on the well being of Virginia's working families. He believes all Virginians should have the opportunity to succeed personally and in their work life. He has fostered this vision through tax relief and quality education, and by safeguarding individual liberties.
Gilmore is fulfilling his campaign promise to eliminate the property tax on the first $20,000 value of all personally owned cars and trucks over a five-year period, 70 percent being eliminated by 2001. By the year 2002, more than 90 percent of Virginians will pay no car taxes. In addition, the Governor was successful in his drive to begin cutting the state sales tax on food by more than half, alleviating the state tax burden on active military personnel, reducing the sales tax on Internet software and hardware, and removing the state sales tax on nonprescription drugs. Since taking office the Governor has cut 16 different taxes. By 2002, Virginians will receive more than $1.5 billion in tax relief per year.
The Governor has overseen the implementation of Virginia's highly acclaimed Standards of Learning (SOLs) -- a program designed to give students a solid academic foundation in core subjects such as math, science, English and history. To assist schools in the implementation of the SOLs, the Governor established Best Practice Centers throughout Virginia that provide teacher training services, resource materials, and diagnostic assistance to local school divisions that request assistance.
This year, Gilmore proposed and signed an Early Reading Initiative designed to assess the literacy needs of children in kindergarten and first grade and correct reading deficits by the end of the first grade. Furthermore, the Governor has successfully passed and implemented legislation ensuring all revenue raised from state lottery proceeds will be returned to localities for public education, including aid for school construction and renovation, books, additional teachers and teachers' salaries. Gilmore continues to work to provide 4,000 new classroom teachers in Virginia's elementary schools.
Gilmore also wants to ensure the state's public colleges and universities are held accountable to the taxpayers who fund these public institutions. He has cut tuition and fees at Virginia's public colleges and universities by 20 percent. He also continued the freeze on tuition costs at Virginia's colleges and universities, and increased the maximum Tuition Assistance Grant award to $3000 per student at Virginia's independent colleges by 2001.
Gilmore provided $26 million in new funding for Virginia's historically black universities, Norfolk State University and Virginia State University, to enhance the institutions' quality of education and attract the best and brightest minds to Virginia.
Virginia is the birthplace of the Internet and is a world leader in information technology. With Virginia's global technology community expanding at a rapid pace, Gilmore is trying to develop a relationship between government and the technology community. He appointed a Secretary of Technology -- the nation's first cabinet-level technology post.
Governor Gilmore established the Governor's Commission on Information Technology, a group that has already made recommendations on Internet policy. The seven pieces of legislation comprising this policy: incorporate unsolicited bulk electronic mail (spam) violations into the Computer Crimes Act; formally establish the Secretary of Technology; extend the Privacy Protection Act to the Internet; enhance penalties for the use of encryption in committing crimes; and extend state law to allow requested information sought under Virginia's Freedom of Information Act to be posted on the Internet or sent via electronic mail. As chairman of the Federal Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce, a congressional panel that studied e-commerce tax policy, Gilmore submitted a report urging Congress to keep the Internet tax-free, repeal the century old tax on telecommunications and close the "digital divide".
Over the past six years, Virginia has led the nation in numerous public safety reforms such as the abolition of parole, juvenile justice reform, habeas reform, and "Three Strikes and You're Out." Virginia became the first state in the nation to implement a statewide version of "Project Exile" -- a program that calls for mandatory minimum five-year sentences for gun-wielding felons. Under Gilmore's leadership, Virginia Exile has become the national model for anti-gun crime efforts.
As Governor, Gilmore has been successful in expanding Virginia's economic reach by leading trade delegations to Asia, Europe and South America. In Virginia, Governor Gilmore has hosted Presidents Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and Mary McAleese of Ireland
Gilmore was elected Virginia's Attorney General in 1993. As Attorney General, he led a nationwide effort to stop arson against African-American churches.
Jim Gilmore was elected in 1987 as Commonwealth's Attorney for Henrico County. He was reelected in 1991. He worked for a decade prior to that as an attorney and small businessman.
Gilmore served his country in the 650th Military Intelligence Group, stationed in Mannheim, Germany. He was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal for service to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Prior to that, he graduated with honors from the Army Intelligence School and completed the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA, where he learned to speak fluent German.
Gilmore graduated from the University of Virginia in 1971 with a degree in Foreign Policy. He returned to the University of Virginia Law School and graduated in 1977.
A native Virginian, Jim Gilmore was born in Richmond in October 1949. He is married to Roxane Gatling Gilmore of Suffolk. They have two boys.