Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.) does not plan to run for governor of Virginia in 2013.
Warner said in an announcement Tuesday that he is proud to have served as the Commonwealth's chief executive, but feels his political future is in Washington.
"I loved being Governor, but I have a different job now — and it's here, in the United States Senate," Warner said. Warner served as governor of the state from 2002 to 2006, and was prohibited from running again then due to term limits. A person can run for another, non-consecutive term as governor in Virginia, however.
The soon-to-be-senior Senator said his experience putting partisanship aside in Richmond will be valuable as lawmakers make the "tough choices," and not just about the most obvious, immediate challenge known as the fiscal cliff.
"Even if we avoid the fiscal cliff, we still have much more important work to do here in Washington: immigration reform, improvements to education," said Warner. "We still need a 21st century energy plan, and we still have a lot more work to do to strengthen the economic recovery"
Warner served as a governor in the commonwealth from 2002 to 2006. In Virginia governors are now allowed to serve consecutive terms, so current Gov. Bob McDonnell will not run be eligible to run in the next cycle.
Warner's decision is likely to be seen as a boost to former DNC chair Terry McAuliffe, who emerges now as the likely Democratic candidate in the state.
McAuliffe polled ahead of Republican candidates Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and Attorney General Ken Cucinelli, but by much smaller margins than a hypothetical Warner candidacy.