ABC News' Jake Tapper reports: In preparation to seek the 2008 Republican nomination for president, former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore announced today that he will form a presidential exploratory committee on January 2, 2007. Gilmore, a Republican, served as governor of Virginia from 1998 to 2002. "I believe the current field of potential candidates lacks a mainstream conservative that is capable of mounting an effective national campaign," Gilmore said. "It is my intention to fill that void. For the Republican party to be successful we need electable candidates who can articulate a positive, mainstream conservative message that can reach all Americans." As governor, Jim Gilmore governed as a conservative. He reduced income taxes for military families living in Virginia, cut the car tax by 70 percent for all Virginia families, and he reduced the tax on prescription drugs for senior citizens. Gilmore also worked to reduce rising college tuition for Virginia families. Under his watch, the Republican Party of Virginia captured majorities in the House of Delegates and the State Senate for the first time since Reconstruction. Jim Gilmore was the governor of Virginia when the Pentagon was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001. A former Army counter-intelligence agent, he chaired the Congressional "Gilmore Commission" from 1999 to 2003 to assess America's terrorism response capabilities. Jim Gilmore is now serving as Chairman of the National Council on Readiness and Preparedness, a non-profit community-based grassroots organization to strengthen homeland security and provide forums to develop a national strategy that includes the local first responders, small and large business, and the leaders of many communities throughout America. A former Chairman of the Republican National Committee and Republican Governors Association, he is currently a partner at the Washington office of Kelley Drye Collier Shannon LLP, where he chairs the Homeland Security Practice Group.