Political Ramifications of Warner's Retirement

By: Cheryn Stone Email
By: Cheryn Stone Email

Friday, August 31

Senator John Warner's retirement has major political ramifications for Virginia in 2008.

What used to be a guaranteed win for Republicans is now wide open.

In a press conference Friday, Warner said he is best serving Virginia now, by stepping down to allow others to advance.

This Senate seat has not been open in Virginia in 30 years.

UVa Center for Politics Director Larry Sabato says, You're going to have a wild Senate race with candidates on both sides obviously tossing their hats in."

Right now, the political world is waiting on former Virginia Governor Mark Warner.

"Mark Warner will be the Democratic nominee if he wants to be, and he'll be the favorite in the general election," Sabato says.

On the Republican side, it's the names you've heard. Tom Davis and Jim Gilmore are two probabilities.

"One is a moderate conservative and one is a conservative and they'll fight it out," according to Sabato.

As of the end of 2008, Virginia will have virtually no seniority in the Senate.

Sabato says Warner's announcement "Opens up more dominoes to fall for the Governors race in 2009 so everybody who's got ambitions will be running."

Friday, Warner said he has not decided whom he will back in the upcoming Senate race for his seat.

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