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>> He's the veteran republican trying to take back the governor's mansion for the GOP in Virginia. But only a year after Donald Trump swept into the White House, Ed Gillespie is campaigning as if Trump were still running a real estate empire in New York, barely mentioning his name as he crisscrosses the state.
Reuters correspondent Jim Oliphant is following the Virginia race.>> What's really notable about what Ed Gillespie is doing right now in Virginia is the way that he's sort of trying to keep his distance from the president of the United States who's a member of his own party and just a few miles away from him in the White House.
And basically what Gillespie is doing is he's running as a traditional republican with some Trumpian elements mixed in and trying to basically have it both ways.>> Gillespie, a Washington lobbyist, who worked in George W Bush's White House, is just the sort of establishment figure that Trump railed against on the campaign trail.
Gillespie is selectively pulling pages from Trump's play book on issues such as immigration. For example, accusing his democratic opponent Physician Ralph Northam of being soft on gangs.>> Ralph Northam voted in favor of sanctuary cities that let dangerous illegal immigrants back on the street.>> It actually does appear to be working.
I talked to a political scientist who's been tracking the election who works in Virginia and he said that, basically, since the ads started running Gillespie has been climbing in the polls.>> Former President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have both made appearances on Northam's behalf. Vice President Mike Pence has campained for Gillespie but he is not saught any direct help from Trump on the trail.
>> A lot of people are looking at the tea leaves, seeing which way they're gonna fall. And if Gillespie were to win this race it would be a good sign that the republican brand is strong under Trump.>> Polls have varied but show Northam consistently leading Gillespie by about four points ahead of the November 7th election.