Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore has entered the Republican presidential field. He filed a statement of candidacy with the FEC on Wednesday afternoon, and becomes the 17th well-known GOP candidate to pursue higher office.

Earlier this month the former governor told the Washington Examiner he was looking at entering the race in advance of a candidate forum in New Hampshire during the first week of August.

He is the third veteran among the prominent GOP candidates running for president, and his campaign platform will focus on strengthening U.S. national security. He was chairman of the Republican National Committee in 2001, and served as governor of Virginia from 1998 to 2002.

Gilmore has served as president and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation, a conservative think tank in Virginia, since leaving office.

He previously entertained a presidential bid during the 2008 race, but Gilmore dropped out in July 2007. Gilmore's path to the nomination appears slim—and not just because there are 16 major candidates running for higher office as Republicans. He is frequently left out of national polls, and received 0.0 percent support when his name was included in the Southern Republican Leadership Conference's straw poll following his speech at the Oklahoma City event earlier this year.