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Ed Gillespie Throws ‘Redskins’ Hail Mary

Gillespie is the Republican nominee for Senate in Virginia. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call Photo)
Gillespie is the Republican nominee for Senate in Virginia. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call Photo)

Virginia Senate candidate Ed Gillespie said in an ad airing during “Monday Night Football” that he would oppose legislation forcing the Washington Redskins to change the team name.  

“I’ll oppose the anti-Redskins bill. Let’s focus on creating jobs, raising take-home pay and making our nation safer. And let the Redskins handle what to call their team,” said Gillespie, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee.  

Gillespie faces long odds to oust Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., next week, and recent polling shows the Republican trailing by double digits . The race is rated Democrat Favored  by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.  

Gillespie recently cut his ad buys in the Washington, D.C., area — an indication of a campaign struggling for cash. Also, it wasn’t immediately clear if the spot would run elsewhere.  

The bill in question is an effort led by Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., with the backing of Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, that would effectively target the National Football League’s tax status if the D.C.-area franchise does not drop the Redskins moniker.  

Redskins home games are played at FedEx field in suburban Maryland, but the team’s training facility is located in Ashburn, Va.  

The ad criticizes Warner for not answering a question about the Cantwell legislation, though Warner has previously expressed a similar position to Gillespie about the team name.  

“Senator Warner believes that it’s not for Congress to dictate what the league does. He believes that over time, team names will change to reflect the times, as happened with the Washington Wizards,” Warner’s office told the Washington Post in May.  

As for Gillespie’s football allegiances? He’s reportedly  split between a pair of NFC East rivals: the Redskins and the Philadelphia Eagles.  

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