Republican Ed Gillespie is keeping his distance from President Trump in his first television ad to promote his bid for governor of Virginia.
The spot, running in media markets across Virginia and backed by an investment his campaign described as "significant," focuses on Gillespie's proposals to reduce taxes and create jobs. What Gillespie doesn't do is make any mention of Trump, ahead of the GOP primary that is just under six weeks away.
Gillespie, the favorite for the nomination, could be looking ahead to the general election, set for this year in November. Hillary Clinton defeated Trump in Virginia in 2016, the third consecutive contest in which the commonwealth voted Democrat for president. With Trump's job approval numbers among Democrats especially low, it could be problematic for Gillespie to embrace Trump.
Here's the script of the new Gillespie ad:
The first income tax rate cut in 45 years, 53,000 new jobs. Ed Gillespie's conservative plan.
He's talking major tax cuts at the kitchen table.
Gillespie called for a 10 percent cut to income taxes.
Ed Gillespie is one of the top candidates for governor, and he wants to put around $1,300 in the pockets of average families.
It would create 50,000 full-time private sector jobs.
Ed Gillespie, a governor for ALL Virginians
Gillespie is a former political operative and advisor to President George W. Bush. In 2014, Gillespie nearly upset Democratic Sen. Mark Warner despite receiving minimal support from the national GOP.
David Chalian, CNN's political director, noted in a tweet on Thursday that while Gillespie used the ad to cultivate his independence from the Trump White House, Tom Perriello, a leading Democratic contender for governor, used his first television spot to tie himself to former President Barack Obama.