Mark Robert Warner (born December 15, 1954) is an American politician and businessman, currently serving in the United States Senate as the junior senator from the Commonwealth of Virginia. He is a member of the Democratic Party. Warner was the 69th governor of Virginia from 2002 to 2006 and is the honorary chairman of the Forward Together PAC. Warner delivered the keynote address before the nation at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Mark Warner's experience as a congressional staffer and Democratic Party fundraiser in the 1980s prompted his involvement in telecommunications venture capital. In 2006 he was widely expected to pursue the Democratic nomination in the 2008 U.S. presidential elections; however, he announced in October 2006 that he would not run, citing a desire not to disrupt his family life. Warner was considered to be a potential vice presidential pick, but upon receiving the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate he announced that he "will not accept any other opportunity." He currently serves on the board of National Democratic Institute for International Affairs.
Governor of Virginia
In 2001 Warner campaigned for governor as a moderate Democrat after years of slowly building up a power base in rural Virginia, particularly Southwest Virginia. He defeated Republican candidate Mark Earley, the state attorney general, in "Mark versus Mark" election, with 52.16 percent, a margin of 96,943 votes.
United States Senate
While on October 12, 2006, Warner ruled out a 2008 presidential bid, Warner declared on September 13, 2007 that he would run for Senate in 2008, following an announcement nearly two weeks prior by then-current senator John Warner (no relation) that he would not seek reelection. Powhatan and Hanover. In many cases, he ran up huge margins in areas of the state that have traditionally voted Republican. This was the most lopsided margin for a contested Senate race in Virginia since Chuck Robb took 72 percent of the vote in 1988. Warner's victory means Virginia has two Democratic Senators for the first time since Harry Byrd, Jr. left the Democrats to become an independent (while still caucusing with the Democrats) in 1970.
Warner immediately gained the endorsement of most national Democrats. He briefly had a primary opponent, Julien Modica, but Modica failed to qualify by the filing deadline. He held a wide lead over his Republican opponent, fellow former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore, for virtually the entire campaign. Warner delivered the keynote address at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. In a Washington Post/ABC News Poll dated Wednesday, September 24, Warner was up 30 points over Gilmore. In the November election "Va. Gov versus Va. Gov," Warner defeated Gilmore in a rout, taking 65 percent of the vote to Gilmore's 34 percent. Warner carried all but four counties in the state—Rockingham, Augusta,
Warner grows 15 acres (61,000 m2) of grapes for Ingleside Vineyards at his Virginia farm; Ingleside bottles a private label that Warner offers at charity auctions.