November 20, 2012:
Senator Mark Warner says he's sticking it out in the Senate, and will not run for the Democratic nomination for governor of Virginia in 2013.
In a statement released Tuesday, Warner said that he was elected to do a job in Washington D.C., and there are too many issues in the Senate for him to leave it behind.
Warner would have been a prohibitive favorite if he had decided to seek a second term in the Governor's Mansion in Richmond. A recent poll from Quinnipiac University showed him with massive leads over the Republican frontrunners, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and Lt. Governor Bill Bolling.
At the moment, only former DNC chairman and failed 2009 candidate Terry McAuliffe has formally announced a serious interest in the Democratic nomination for governor in next year's race.
Warner served as governor from 2002 to 2006. Virginia law prohibits governors from serving more than one consecutive term.
The 2013 elections are critical for Democrats in Virginia. In 2009, Democrats were swept by the Bob McDonnell/Bolling/Cuccinelli ticket and were left without an obvious candidate with a history of success in a statewide race.
The following is the full statement from Sen. Warner's office:
“Over the last year, a lot of Virginians – Democrats, Republicans, and independents – have approached me and asked that I consider running for Governor a second time.
Believe me, being Governor was the best job I ever had. I was so proud that we were able to bring folks together, put partisanship aside, and together we moved Virginia forward.
When folks approached me about running for a second term as Governor, I told them two things: first, I felt that it was better to make a final decision after the 2012 elections. And second, I said I would give it serious, heartfelt consideration – and I have.
I’ve talked to a lot of Virginians I respect, and I’ve talked about it with my family.
But when I asked Virginians to hire me as their Senator, I made a promise to come to Washington to try to be a problem solver. I have to admit, it’s been tougher than I expected. But I’ve tried to keep at it.
It’s what I’ve been trying to do through my bipartisan work to fix our debt and deficits. And you know, I’m actually more optimistic by the day that we’ll be able to get it done.
But even if we avoid the fiscal cliff, we still have much more important work to do here in Washington: immigration reform, improvements to education. We still need a 21st century energy plan, and we still have a lot more work to do to strengthen the economic recovery.
All of these issues will also require tough choices.
I loved being Governor, but I have a different job now -- and it’s here, in the United States Senate.
I hope my value add in Congress is to continue working hard every day to not simply blame the other side, but to actually try to find common ground so we can get stuff done.
At times, it’s been frustrating. But I believe this work is important for Virginia, and for our country, and I intend to see it through.
I hope you and your family have a great Thanksgiving holiday. And please know that as I count my blessings, one of the things I’m most grateful for is the opportunity to continue to serve the Commonwealth.”