Warner Speaks on Webb's Retirement

By: Jessica Jaglois Email
By: Jessica Jaglois Email

February 9, 2011

Senator Jim Webb announced Wednesday that he will not run for re-election in 2012. He made his announcement in an e-mail in which he said he intends to return to the private sector.

Webb visited Charlottesville on Jan. 20 amid rumors that he may not defend his seat. The Senate Democrat issued the following statement on Tuesday:

It has been a great and continuing privilege to serve in the United States Senate. I am very proud of my talented and dedicated staff, which has worked tirelessly to resolve the issues on which I based my candidacy, and to protect the interests of all Virginians in this national forum.

Among other contributions we have given our Post- 9/11 veterans the best GI Bill since World War Two; we have taken the lead in reforming our criminal justice system; we have led the way toward stronger relations in East and Southeast Asia; and we have been a strong voice in calling on China to act more responsibly in the world community. We will continue to work on these and other issues throughout the rest of my term.

However, after much thought and consideration I have decided to return to the private sector, where I have spent most of my professional life, and will not seek re-election in 2012.

Notwithstanding this decision, I have every intention of remaining involved in the issues that affect the well-being and the future of our country.

Webb's decision is a blow to Democrats, who now must find a replacement to run in the state.

Several Republicans have already begun campaigning, including former Virginia Governor George Allen. Allen signed and delivered his declaration of candidacy for the U.S. Senate in 2012 back on Jan. 24.

Allen released the following statement regarding Webb's announcement:

"I respect Senator Webb's service to our country and the very personal decision that he and his family have made. I did not enter into this race to run against any one person, but to fight for the families of Virginia to improve their opportunities in life."

Governor Bob McDonnell added the following:

“Senator Jim Webb has spent his life serving our Commonwealth and our country. As a young Marine he bravely served on the front lines in Vietnam. Later he served his nation in the Reagan Administration, including a stint as Secretary of the Navy. Most recently his public service has come in the field of politics, representing the people of Virginia as a United States Senator. He cares deeply about this nation, and our future.

I applauded his leadership in passing the Post-9/11 GI Bill expanding education benefits to veterans. I greatly appreciated his partnership and leadership in addressing the proposed closing of Joint Forces Command.

Jim Webb puts his country first, and I thank him for the public service he has long provided, while looking forward to the continuation of that service, albeit in a different capacity, in the years ahead. I wish him, his family and his staff the very best.”

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