- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 13, 2007

Former Virginia Gov. Mark R. Warner today announced his bid for the U.S. Senate with an online message to voters, saying he hopes to end the “partisan bickering” on Capitol Hill with the same moderate approach that made him so popular as governor.

“I will try to bring the same practical, problem solving approach we used in Virginia to Washington,” Mr. Warner said. “Because our problems in America are not Democrat versus Republican, liberal versus conservative or left versus right. No, this is about the future, not the past.”

The announcement was considered good news for national Democrats who are confident the 52-year-old increases the chances they can keep their one-seat majority in the U.S. Senate even if the polarizing presence of Hillary Rodham Clinton is atop the Democratic ticket.

Following the announcement, Sen. Charles S. Schumer, New York Democrat and chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, called Mr. Warner “a tremendous asset to his state and country” and had the Virginian’s photograph prominently featured on the campaign committee’s Web site.

“I can’t think of a better candidate on either side of the political aisle for this seat,” said Dickie Cranwell, chairman of the Virginia Democratic Party.

Mr. Warner will likely be opposed by Rep. Thomas M. Davis III or former Gov. James S. Gilmore III, both Republicans. The two men have said they will announce a decision after the state’s Nov. 6 election, when all 140 seats in the General Assembly are up for grabs.

The early indication is Mr. Warner would be the early favorite against either men. A Rasmussen Reports poll released Tuesday shows Mr. Gilmore, Mr. Warner ‘s closest contender, trailed by 20 points.

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