GW Brief: GW alumnus, former Va. governor runs for Senate

GW alumnus and former Virginia governor Mark Warner announced his plans Thursday to run for a seat in the United States Senate.

Republican Sen. John Warner, no relation, recently announced he would vacate the seat when his term expires next year.

Mark Warner graduated from GW in 1977, the first person in his family to receive a college diploma. He went on to help found the telecommunications company Nextel, and today has a net worth of more than $200 million. He has served on the GW’s board of trustees and spoke at GW’s commencement in 2003 and frequently attends basketball games.

In a video posted on his Web site – – Mark Warner citied a pledge to address issues facing Virginia and a goal to “move beyond partisan bickering” as reasons for running.

“Virginians know that politics as usual just isn’t getting the job done,” he said. “I want to change that, and with your help, we will.”

Although Thursday marked the official announcement of his campaign, Warner will not begin campaigning until after the Virginia state legislative elections this November.

Warner served as governor of the state from 2002 to 2006. His tenure saw an increase in sales and cigarette taxes, coupled with income tax cuts that generated $1.5 billion in revenue. He used the extra money to fund the largest investment in education in state history. In 2005, “Governing” magazine named Virginia the best managed state in the country.

In the general election, Warner is likely to face Congressman Tom Davis (R-Va.), or former Republican governor Jim Gilmore. A Washington Post poll taken last October gave Warner a 73 percent statewide approval rating.

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