Washington (CNN)Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore, the latest entrant into the wide field of Republican candidates, said Monday that a drawn-out primary race will help him move out of obscurity.
Jim Gilmore: Long GOP primary 'an opportunity'
"I think this is a going to be a long race, I think that it's an opportunity to appear multiple times, to be in additional debates," Gilmore said Monday on CNN.
Gilmore joined an already full field last week and is running at the tail end of a roster already stretched thin by big names and led, in national polls, by Donald Trump.
It may seem early in the race, with months yet before Republican voters formally begin selecting a nominee, but there is a pressing event: the first Republican debate, hosted by Fox News, on Thursday.
The ticket to entry? Registering among the top 10 candidates in national polling. Trump, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and others are all but guaranteed a spot in the first national debate of the 2016 battle.
Gilmore and others, like former New York Gov. George Pataki, are all but guaranteed they will not appear on stage at the first debate. But Gilmore said he was not worried about missing the first debate and would look to make his name in the coming months.
"It's a chance to really talk about the issues over what's important to the people of the United States and after a while the people of this country are going to say 'Look, I'm tired of the circus. I want a person who actually understands my concerns,'" he said.