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Ex-Gov. Warner opens bid for U.S. Senate

May 5, 2008 at 11:01 AM
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RICHMOND, Va., May 5 (UPI) -- Democrat Mark Warner, the popular former governor of Virginia, kicked off his bid to replace retiring Republican John Warner in the U.S. Senate.

Mark Warner is widely considered the favorite to take over the seat occupied by John Warner, no relation, The Washington Post reported Monday. Republicans say he could still lose.

"It can be done. But it's going to take some luck," said J. Kenneth Klinge, a northern Virginia Republican, adding that Republicans must remind Virginians of campaign promises Warner didn't live up to as governor.

Warner kicked off his four-day tour Sunday in southwest Virginia, telling audiences why he'd be a better choice than former Gov. James Gilmore III or Virginia Del. Robert G. Marshall, R-Manassas.

State Del. Christopher B. Saxman, R-Staunton, co-chairman of presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain's Virginia campaign, told the Post either Republican candidate would benefit from the Arizona senator's double-digit support in the state over Democratic presidential nominee, whether Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., or Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.

But Linda Wyatt, a Democratic Party leader from Roanoke, Va., said Warner ran for governor during the height of Republicans' popularity nationwide and won by a larger margin than any other Democrat in recent years.

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