It’s hard to believe that we’re just four weeks away from Convention Weekend 2016. Election chatter has been simmering around campus for a while, but with the turn of a new year talk of who our country’s next president will be has risen to a boil. Washington and Lee students are excited to be closing in on their prediction of who will clinch the Republican nomination.

Today we are thrilled to make the first of a series of announcements revealing speakers for Convention Weekend. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Former Chairman of the RNC Ed Gillespie, Daily Beast Columnist Kristen Anderson and Representative Bob Goodlatte will address the 26th Washington and Lee University Mock Convention.

Former Speaker Mr. Newt Gingrich

Former Speaker Mr. Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich was elected to Congress in 1978 where he served as a representative to the state of Georgia for twenty years. He was elected Speaker of the House in 1995, and served in this role until 1999. In 2012, he was a candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States. Today, Mr. Gingrich works as a political correspondent for CNN. He has attended past Mock Conventions, most recently as a speaker at the 1996 convention. 

Former Chairman Mr. Ed Gillespie

Former Chairman Mr. Ed Gillespie

Ed Gillespie is a former Chairman of the Republican National Committee, the Republican State Leadership Committee, and the Republican Party of Virginia. He served as Counselor to President George W. Bush during the forty-third president’s time in the White House, and as a policy and communications aide to former House Majority Leader Dick Armey. Today, Mr. Gillespie is founder of Ed Gillespie Strategies, a strategic communications firm in Alexandria, Virginia. Mr. Gillespie plans to run for Governor of Virginia in 2017, according to The Washington Post. 

Ms. Kristen Anderson

Ms. Kristen Anderson

Kristen Anderson is a co-founder and partner at Echelon Insights, an opinion research, data analytics and digital intelligence firm. She is also the author of The Selfie Vote: Where Millennials Are Leading America (And How Republicans Can Keep Up), as well as a columnist at The Daily Beast and a co-host of a weekly polling podcast called “The Pollsters.” Recently, Mrs. Anderson authored an extensive study called “Grand Old Party for a Brand New Generation.” Her research focuses on young voters, and how the Republican Party can regain touch with the new generation of voters.

Representative Bob Goodlatte

Representative Bob Goodlatte

Representative Bob Goodlatte is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, serving Virginia’s sixth district. Rep. Goodlatte has been a member of Congress since 1993. He has been the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee since 2013. He has attended past conventions, and spoke most recently during the 2012 Convention Weekend. He is a graduate of the Washington & Lee University School of Law. 

Ms. Anderson will speak during Session One on Friday, February 12th at 1:30 PM. Representative Goodlatte will speak during Session Two on Friday, February 12th at 7:00 PM.  Mr. Gingrich and Mr. Gillespie will speak at Session Three on Saturday, February 13th at 10:00 AM.