|Ted, Jim Gilmore was governor of Virginia from 1998-2002, and was elected on the basis of his pledge to eliminate the car tax. The whole campaign was basically a bunch of signs that said NO CAR TAX. It worked...|
Governor of Virginia
Gilmore was elected Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1997. Gilmore campaigned heavily on the twin promises of hiring 4,000 new teachers in public schools and phasing out Virginia's Car Tax. According to the Washington Post, "Virginia's politicians struggled to balance car-tax relief against demands for public services." Beginning in 2001, Virginia's economy slowed and tax revenues flattened. In addition to a downturn in the national economy in 2001, Northern Virginia's economy was severely slowed after terrorists flew a hijacked airplane into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, on September 11, 2001, resulting in the closure of Reagan National Airport for several months. Despite the economic downturn, Gilmore insisted on advancing the car tax phase out from a 50% reduction of each taxpayer's bill to a 70% reduction.
Gilmore also implemented new Standards of Learning reforms in Virginia's public schools. The Standards of Learning prescribed a uniform curriculum in math, science, English and social studies and instituted new tests at the end of the 3rd, 5th and 8th grades, as well as end-of-course tests in high school, to measure student achievement. During Gilmore's term, Virginia's public school students' scores increased on these state tests as well as nationally normed tests.
Gilmore created the nation's first state Secretary of Technology, a position first held by Donald Upson. Together they established a statewide technology commission, and signed into law the nation's first comprehensive state Internet policy.
During his term, Gilmore chaired the Congressional Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce. The Commission was charged with the task of making recommendations to Congress on Internet taxation, and it ultimately opposed taxation of the Internet. 
During his term 37 murderers were executed in the state of Virginia. Gilmore granted executive clemency to one death row inmate on the basis of poor mental health. He pardoned a former death row inmate, Earl Washington, after DNA tests, ordered by Gilmore, failed to establish his guilt and implicated another person. Gilmore also ordered DNA tests in the case of Derek Rocco Barnabei. The tests confirmed Barnabei's guilt and he was executed.
As Governor, Gilmore signed into law legislation establishing a 24-hour waiting period for women seeking an abortion as well as a ban against partial birth abortion. He increased funding for adoption services. He also signed into law a bill that banned human cloning. In 1999, Gilmore went to court to try to prevent the removal of a feeding tube of coma victim Hugh Finn.
Gilmore was succeeded by Democrat Mark Warner in 2002. The Virginia Constitution forbids any Governor from serving consecutive terms, so Gilmore could not have run for a second term in 2001.