Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine won't make a decision on a bid for the seat of retiring Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) until later this month or early next.
Kaine is speaking Saturday at the Virginia Democratic Party's Jefferson-Jackson dinner in Richmond, and while he will address the state's open Senate seat, the former Virginia governor won't declare his 2012 intentions, according to a DNC spokesman.
Kaine is expected to thank Virginia Democrats for their encouragement on a Senate run at Saturday's event, which will draw other potential Democratic hopefuls — former Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.) will be in attendance.
Should Kaine decide not to seek the seat, several Virginia Democrats say they expect Perriello to run. The former congressman has said he would consider a bid if Kaine opted out.
Despite Kaine's reluctance to run, Democrats are applying heavy pressure, seeing the popular former governor as the party's best shot at holding the seat next year.
"I think he will be a great senator," President Obama told a Virginia TV station earlier this week. On Wednesday, Webb likewise touted Kaine's prospects, saying he hopes he decides to run.
On Thursday, a top Virginia Democrat told The Ballot Box that the longer Kaine delays his announcement, the more likely he is to get in, noting, "If he's not going to do it, I expect he will make that known very soon."