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Former Republican Senator John Warner is backing his Democratic successor over the former national GOP chairman in this year's U.S. Senate race in Virginia.
John Warner tells the Associated Press that he's supporting incumbent Democrat Mark Warner instead of the Republican challenger Ed Gillespie in the November election.
The two Warners are not related.
John Warner earned a reputation as a party maverick in his 30 years in the Senate. Back in 1993, he refused to endorse the GOP nominee for lieutenant governor. And in 1994, he supported an independent over Iran-Contra figure Oliver North in the Senate race against Democrat Chuck Robb.
But this is the first time he has endorsed a Democrat outright.
John Warner defeated Mark Warner in the Democrat's first Senate campaign in 1996.