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Warner bows out of Virginia gubernatorial race

Video: As Sen. Mark Warner decides to stay in the Senate, it raises questions as to who the GOP contender will be to face Democrat Terry McCauliffe.

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, who was a popular governor of Virginia from 2001-05, released a statement Tuesday saying that while the governorship of the Old Dominion was ???the best job I ever had,??? he had a different job he was focused on in the Senate. In his statement, centrist Democrat Warner also voiced optimism about securing a bipartisan budget deal that would keep the U.S. from the ???fiscal cliff.???

In terms of Virginia politics, the impact of Warner???s announcement was strong in both parties??? maneuvering for the governorship next year. With Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell termed out after one consecutive four year term, there had been growing nervousness within his party that a fight for succession between Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling and State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli leave the GOP so divided it could not win the statehouse again.

With Warner out of the race, the worries about Bolling and Cuccinelli fighting so hard for nomination as to weaken Republican chances in the fall area are significantly down. The GOP nod for governor will be decided at a state convention in Richmond next summer.

The popular Warner had been considered a cinch for nomination, and polls showed him leading either Republican in match-ups. His exodus from the contest now leaves former Democratic National Chairman Terry McAuliffe, a close friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton, as the certain Democratic nominee.

Only one governor in the history of Virginia???the late Mills Godwin???served two non-consecutive terms in the statehouse, 1965-69 and 1973-77. Warner was better-than-even money to match Godwin???s achievement, but chose not to.

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John Gizzi has come to be known as ???the man who knows everyone in Washington??? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on what???s going on in the nation???s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as ???Gizzi on Politics??? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of ???Gizzi???s America,??? video interviews that appear on Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. John???s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com