RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner says he will not seek a return to Virginia's governor's mansion.
In a statement issued Tuesday, Democrat Warner said that while he enjoyed his term as governor, he will not leave the Senate to seek another four years as governor. He said too much of the nation's business needs to be addressed for him to leave Washington now. He cited immigration reform, a 21st century energy plan and work on the economic recovery.
A Quinnipiac University poll last week showed Warner would dominate a gubernatorial race with either announced Republican, Ken Cuccinelli or Bill Bolling. The poll showed that with Terry McAuliffe as the only announced Democrat in the race, next fall's election would be anybody's game.
Warner governed from 2002 to 2006.
Learn more about Warner on his website.
Read Warner's complete statement Tuesday:
STATEMENT OF U.S. SEN. MARK R. WARNER
"Over the last year, a lot of Virginians – Democrats, Republicans, and independents – have approached me and asked that I consider running for Governor a second time.
Believe me, being Governor was the best job I ever had. I was so proud that we were able to bring folks together, put partisanship aside, and together we moved Virginia forward.
When folks approached me about running for a second term as Governor, I told them two things: first, I felt that it was better to make a final decision after the 2012 elections. And second, I said I would give it serious, heartfelt consideration – and I have.
I've talked to a lot of Virginians I respect, and I've talked about it with my family.
But when I asked Virginians to hire me as their Senator, I made a promise to come to Washington to try to be a problem solver. I have to admit, it's been tougher than I expected. But I've tried to keep at it.
It's what I've been trying to do through my bipartisan work to fix our debt and deficits. And you know, I'm actually more optimistic by the day that we'll be able to get it done.
But even if we avoid the fiscal cliff, we still have much more important work to do here in Washington: immigration reform, improvements to education. We still need a 21st century energy plan, and we still have a lot more work to do to strengthen the economic recovery.
All of these issues will also require tough choices.
I loved being Governor, but I have a different job now -- and it's here, in the United States Senate.
I hope my value add in Congress is to continue working hard every day to not simply blame the other side, but to actually try to find common ground so we can get stuff done.
At times, it's been frustrating. But I believe this work is important for Virginia, and for our country, and I intend to see it through.
I hope you and your family have a great Thanksgiving holiday. And please know that as I count my blessings, one of the things I'm most grateful for is the opportunity to continue to serve the Commonwealth."