Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tim Kaine said he wouldn't run for Senate in his native Virginia if Sen. Jim Webb (D) doesn't seek reelection.
Kaine, a popular former governor of Virginia, said he expects Webb to seek a second term, and even if Webb were to retire, he wouldn't seek that job.
"My full expectation is that I'm going to be supporting a great Virginia Democrat and I believe that Virginia Democrat will be Jim Webb for the Senate seat," Kaine added.
Speculation has swirled around Webb's future plans due to less robust fundraising to date in what would be a costly reelection battle. Republicans have their eye on reclaiming the seat Democrats won in 2006, especially after their recent successes in gubernatorial and House elections.
If Webb doesn't seek another term, it could add to a difficult electoral landscape for Senate Democrats heading into 2012. Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) announced his retirement on Tuesday, and Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.), an independent who caucuses with Democrats, is expected to make an announcement about his political future on Wednesday.
Kaine's name has been floated for a possible future position as a cabinet secretary or other political appointee once he's finished at the DNC.
If he's not in the race, Webb or the eventual Democratic nominee may face off against former Sen. George Allen (R), who wants to reclaim the seat he lost to Webb in 2006.