Sen. Mark WarnerMark WarnerTop Senate Dem: ‘Grave concerns’ about independence of Russia probe Dems worry too much about upsetting others. That needs to stop. Washington-area lawmakers request GAO report on DC Metro MORE (D-Va.) said Friday that he had raised $1.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2013, ending the year with more than $7 million cash-on-hand.
The former Virginia governor and multi-millionaire is looking to stock his war chest ahead of his 2014 reelection bid even though he still doesn't have a strong GOP challenger in the swing state.
Former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie has signaled that he is considering a run against Warner, and would bring deep fundraising connections and a big name for the GOP to the contest.
"I’m going to take some time to talk with fellow Virginia Republicans about how we best win this pivotal Senate seat and, of course, with my own family, who come ahead of politics," Gillespie told The Hill last month.
Virginia remains among the most politically divided states in the country, with former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe winning the governor's race last November by a mere 2.5 percentage points against Attorney General and Tea Party favorite Ken Cuccinelli.
With McAuliffe's win, Democrats now all statewide offices and both Senate seats for the first time since 1969, giving them good reason to be optimistic heading into 2014, especially after President Obama carried the state twice.
Warner is also the state's most popular elected official, according to an August poll released by Quinnipiac University. According to the survey, some 61 percent of Virginia voters approve of Warner's performance on the job, with just a quarter of voters in the commonwealth disapproving.