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Former Virginia Democratic Governor to Enter 2008 Senate Race


The former governor of the southern U.S. state of Virginia, Democrat Mark Warner, is expected Thursday to announce his intention to run for the U.S. Senate.

Warner is expected to announce his intentions in an e-mail to his supporters. He is running to succeed Republican John Warner, who announced earlier this month that he will retire after 30 years in office. The two Warners are not related.

Mark Warner is a multi-millionaire who was elected Virginia governor in 2001. He was praised for reducing the state's multi-billion-dollar budget deficit, and left office in 2006 with high approval ratings.

The former governor abandoned plans to run for president, citing family concerns. Virginia's constitution bars the governor from seeking a second consecutive term.

The Democratic Party holds a slim majority in the U.S. Senate. It holds 49 seats in that body, with two independents, Vermont's Bernard Sanders and Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, who normally vote with the Democrats.

John Warner is one of several incumbent Republican senators who have announced they will not seek re-election in 2008.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.