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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore filed the paperwork on Wednesday to join the race for the Republican presidential nomination, according to the Federal Election Commission.

Gilmore becomes the 17th candidate to seek the 2016 nomination, a field that includes former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, businessman Donald Trump and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

Earlier this month, Gilmore, 65, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch newspaper that he planned to formally enter the race in the first week of August.

Gilmore, who briefly sought the 2008 Republican nomination before dropping out, served one term as Virginia’s governor, from 1998 to 2002, and was the chairman of the Republican National Committee in 2001.

It was not clear whether Gilmore will participate in the first official Republican debate, on Aug. 6 in Cleveland. The top 10 candidates in national polls will take part in the prime-time debate, with the other presidential hopefuls participating in a forum earlier in the day.

(Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Sandra Maler)

Photo: Jim Gilmore speaks at the Koger Center for the Performing Arts before tonight’s nationally televised debate between ten presidential hopefuls at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina, May 15, 2007. REUTERS/Larry Downing

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