Va. Democrats Want Sen. Warner for Governor Again

Monday, 07 May 2012 09:51 AM

By Greg McDonald

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Some Virginia Democrats are hoping to recruit U.S. Sen. Mark Warner to run for governor again in hopes of retaking not only the mansion — but the state legislature as well.  

According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Warner, who served as governor from 2002 to 2006, tops the wish list of candidates for Democrats eager to regain control of state government.
 
They see the popular Warner — whose coattails could swing control of the legislature from Republican back into Democratic hands — as a sure thing, according to University of Mary Washington political scientist Stephen Farnsworth.
 
“What he wants to run for in Virginia he wins,” Farnsworth told the Dispatch in a story published Monday.
 
State Democratic Party Chairman Brian Moran called Warner “an unbeatable candidate.” But he said the senator “hasn’t shared his plans” yet with the party officials.
 
Convincing Warner to run, however, could be difficult.
 
With the retirement of fellow Democratic Sen. Jim Webb, the former governor would become the senior senator from Virginia. Warner is also frequently mentioned as a possible presidential candidate in 2016.
 
Warner spokesman Kevin Hall declined to comment on his boss’ future plans.
 
“With another fiscal train wreck coming at us right after the 2012 election, nobody here is even thinking about 2013,” he told the newspaper, referring to the continuing budget and debt issues facing the nation.
 
Meanwhile, at least three other Democrats are looking to challenge Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, the likely GOP candidates, in the gubernatorial race. They are former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe, former Virginia congressman Tom Perriello, and state Sen. J Chapman “Chap” Petersen.

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