Former Virginia Governor Mark Warner, a Democrat, made a surprise announcement this morning in Richmond, Virginia. He’s decided not seek his party’s presidential nomination in 2008.
However, Warner was still in Des Moines late this afternoon to speak at an Iowa Democratic party fundraiser. “I hope this will show the folks that my affection for Iowa is not fleeting in terms of only showing up during the nominating process,” Warner told reporters. “I want to do what I can to continue to help a lot of the folks I’ve had a chance to meet here and the candidates who are running.”
Warner had made repeated trips to Iowa to lay the groundwork for a presidential campaign and his political action committee was writing big checks to Iowa Democrats on this year’s ballot. “Yea, I know there are a lot of folks in the political world scratching their head,” Warner said. “Things seemed to be going well — and they were going well — but I decided over the last few weeks and it came to a culmination. I’d set Columbus Day week, in a personal timeline, to make this decision. I was up seeing my dad for his 81st birthday and then starting to take my daughter to look for colleges and I just said ‘Hey, although it may be the right time politically, it’s not the right time for me in my life.'” Warner has three daughters; his oldest is 16.
Warner, who is 51 years old, will keep campaigning on behalf of Democrats this year, and he isn’t ruling out a run for office himself sometime down the road. “There’s no reason for me to take anything off the table at this point,” Warner said.
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Transcript of Warner Q&A in Des Moines