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Mark R. Warner
Birthdate: Dec. 15, 1954
Birth Place: Indianapolis, IN, United States
Residence: Alexandria, VA
First Elected: 2008
Undergraduate: George Washington University
Graduate: Harvard University
Mark Warner was born in Indiana and now lives in Alexandria, Va. He earned a bachelor's from George Washington University in 1977 and a law degree from Harvard University in 1980.
Warner was a Democratic fundraiser in the 1980s, during which time he seized on a tip about a federal giveaway of certain radio frequencies. The tip led to his success in the fledgling cellular telephone industry and made him a multimillionaire.
He managed the successful 1989 campaign of Virginia's L. Douglas Wilder, who became the nation's first elected black governor.
Warner was elected governor of Virginia in 2001, serving until 2006.
He explored a 2008 presidential bid, but abandoned it in October 2006.
Warner was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2008, winning nearly two-thirds of the vote over Jim Gilmore, a Republican whom Warner succeeded as governor in 2002.
Warner and his wife, Lisa Collis, have three daughters.
Mark Warner supported as a freshman senator the 2009 economic stimulus package backed by President Barack Obama, and the bailout of the financial services industry. He said that while he had reservations about the measures, inaction could have turned a recession into a depression.
He voted in favor of the 2010 health care reform bill, and he was influential in drafting the Wall Street reform bill that became law in July 2010.
Warner has found it difficult to satisfy the Democratic leadership in the Senate, advance legislation he sees as the lesser of evils and retain the label of "radical centrist," a description he applied to himself during the 2008 campaign.
He has sought out Republicans willing to compromise on the issue of debt reduction and cobble together shoestring coalitions, only to have his efforts ignored or rebuffed by the Senate's Democratic leadership.
He joined with Georgia Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss leading a bipartisan movement of back-benchers that became known as the Gang of Six who called for compromise between the House's conservative Republican leadership on one side and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Barack Obama on the other. It went nowhere.
He sat on the bipartisan congressional "super committee" that was responsible for compromising on cuts topping $1 trillion under a last minute deal proposed in August 2011 to raise the federal debt ceiling and avoid defaulting on American debts for the first time in history. The super committee ended in failure leaving Congress facing the imperative of agreeing to a package of reductions by the end of 2012 or facing severe automatic cuts to national defense and other programs.
Warner has been greeted at town hall meetings by angry shouts and jeers from tea party activists and others on the far right of the political spectrum. He has also seen skepticism and criticism during private meetings with businessmen, financiers, bankers, developers and professionals who don't back his support for regulating the financial industry and reforming health care.
Warner was widely acclaimed for righting Virginia's listing financial ship during his term as governor. He was elected running as a moderate, neutralizing Republicans' hold in rural Virginia, and laid out a rural economic development and school revitalization package.
With overwhelming GOP majorities in the state House and Senate, he began his gubernatorial term the only way he could: promising bipartisanship. He put three Republicans in his Cabinet.
Warner's term was marked by a quick succession of crises: a drought, an avian flu epidemic and the deadly sniper attacks in the Washington, D.C., region that terrified Virginians.
A $6.4 billion state revenue shortfall forced him to order cuts in state government and abandon many of his campaign pledges.
A scandal ensued three months into Warner's term when two top officials of the state GOP eavesdropped on a private conference call between Warner and Democratic lawmakers. The Republican Party's former executive director and its chairman later resigned and pleaded guilty to federal charges.
Warner and state legislative Democrats allied with Republican moderates in the Senate in 2004 to push through a $1.4 billion tax increase to balance the state budget, which became the signature policy victory of his term.
He enjoyed the highest job approval ratings in his final year of any governor on record. He also was a major factor in electing Democratic Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine as his successor, and he saw his national profile rise.
Warner served as chairman of the National Governors Association. He also chartered a new federal political action committee, Forward Together, which he used to briefly explore a 2008 presidential bid that he declined to pursue.
Source: Associated Press
113th Congress on Twitter
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