By Alexander Bolton - 11/20/12 08:40 PM EST
Sen. Mark WarnerMark WarnerTurf battle erupts over hot cyber issue Housing groups argue Freddie Mac's loss should spur finance reform Week ahead: Rival encryption efforts clash on Capitol Hill MORE (D-Va.) has announced that he will not run for governor, sparing Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidSenate Dems accuse GOP of slow-walking Obama nominees The Trail 2016: GOP stages of grief Dems slam Trump over taco bowl tweet MORE (D-Nev.) a headache in the 2014 election cycle.
“I loved being governor, but I have a different job now -- and it’s here, in the United States Senate,” Warner said in a statement released Tuesday afternoon.
Warner has been at the center of informal bipartisan talks for more than two years aimed at reaching a broad deficit-reduction. Most recently, he and a group of Senate colleagues have tried to forge a deal based on the work of the Simpson-Bowles Commission.
“At times, it’s been frustrating. But I believe this work is important for Virginia, and for our country, and I intend to see it through,” Warner said.
Warner’s decision to stay in the Senate spares Reid and Sen. Charles SchumerCharles SchumerRyan goes all-in on Puerto Rico Cruz's dad: Trump 'would be worse than Hillary Clinton' With Ryan’s blessing, lawmakers press ahead with tax reform talks MORE (N.Y.), the Senate Democrats’ chief political strategist, the tough assignment of trying to find a candidate to replace him in Virginia.
The 2014 cycle is likely to be difficult for Democrats as the president’s party often loses seats in the midterm election of his second term.
Warner, who served as Virginia’s governor from 2002 to 2006, signaled that he would likely not run for his old job earlier this month when he gave a green light for former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe to launch a bid.
Warner’s decision to skip the race makes McAuliffe the early favorite in the race. He could face Lit. Gov. Bill Bolling or state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli in the general election.
Former Virginia governor and Sen.-elect Tim KaineTim KaineDem senator: Trump would leak classified information Dem senator compares Obama's moves in Syria to Putin's in Ukraine Let the Democratic veepstakes begin MORE (D) said at his post-election press conference earlier this month that he hoped Warner would stay in the Senate.
"I really want Mark to stay," Kaine said. "What Mark is doing with the Gang of Six is important and not just fiscal."