Mark Warner (D-Va.)

U.S. Senator (since January 2009)

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Why He Matters

A millionaire businessman, popular ex-governor and now, junior senator from the Commonwealth of Virginia, Mark Warner has been described as one of the fastest rising stars of the Democratic Party.

Warner has been active in Democratic politics his entire adult life, but didn't achieve elected office until winning Virginia's governorship in 2001. He's a self-styled "radical centrist," and during his gubernatorial campaign in 2001 Warner appealed to more than just the Democratic strongholds of northern Virginia and Richmond by relying on a pro-growth, no-tax-hike economic message while also courting gun owners and working the NASCAR circuit. He won election by nearly 100,000 votes and left office four years later with a 70 percent approval rating despite a tax hike.

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At a shad planking in southern Va., politicians enjoy bipartisanship, bluegrass and bony fish

(Bob Brown / AP)

Sen. Mark Warner and other Va. politicians of all stripes gather at the annual political meet-and-greet.

Why Virginia Republicans are smiling

A strong Virginia Senate candidate buoys the GOP


Sen. Warner campaign says it has nearly $9 million

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner has nearly $9 million to spend on his re-election campaign, which has yet to begin in earnest, the Democratic senator and former governor’s campaign announced Wednesday.

Mark Warner raises $2.7 million during first quarter of 2014

The Virginia Democrat has picked up the pace in the money chase.


First quarter fundraising winners (and losers)

Michelle Nunn had another big quarter. Know who didn’t? Tea party challengers.


Va. House Republicans reaffirm Medicaid opposition

House Republicans say they remain resolute in their opposition to using federal Medicaid funds to provide health insurance to as many as 400,000 low-income Virginians.


Gillespie raises $2.2 million in Va. Senate bid

Republican Ed Gillespie’s campaign announced Tuesday that it had raised $2.2 million in its bid to unseat U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, a sizable haul for a non-incumbent.


At a Glance

  • Career History: Virginia governor (2002 to 2006); Partner, Columbia Capital (1989 to 2002); Campaign Manager for Douglas Wilder (1989)
  • Birthday: Dec. 15, 1954
  • Hometown: Indianapolis, Ind.
  • Alma Mater: George Washington University, B.A., 1977; Harvard University, J.D., 1980
  • Spouse: Lisa Collis
  • Religion: Presbyterian
  • Committees: Commerce, Science and Transportation ; Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs ; Budget ; Rules and Administration ; Select Intelligence
  • DC Office: 459A Russell Senate Office Building, 202-224-2023

Path to Power

Born in Indianapolis, Ind., Warner is the son of Robert and Marge Warner, an insurance agent and housewife. The political bug struck Warner early on. "In 1968, I was in the eighth grade - old enough to get touched by the idealism of the '60s, but not old enough to get jaded by it," he says. "This world was transforming around the whole notion that you could make change."

After graduating from high school in Vernon, Conn., in 1973, Warner went on to George Washington University. He graduated from GWU in 1977, the first member of his family to receive a college diploma, and quickly moved on to Harvard Law, graduating in 1980.

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The Issues

Warner has a strong reputation as both a moderate and a nonpartisan politician. He reached across party lines to clean up Virginia's finances and staked moderate positions on many social issues.

As senator, Warner is expected to push forward on the key issues of fiscal responsibility, healthcare and national competitiveness. Energy, he has said, will be his first priority in the Senate. "Energy could be the issue that challenges America's imagination and innovation," he said after his election.

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The Network

Warner began building his list of D.C. contacts while still in college, when he worked for Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.).

Though Warner ran against John Warner in 1996 with the slogan "MarkNotJohn," the elder Warner went on to advise the younger, supporting his tax increases while Warner was governor. He later vowed not to run for Senate until the senior Senator declared his intention not to seek re-election, which he did in 2008. The elder Warner even flirted with the idea of crossing party lines to vote for the younger. "I'm watching that race, following the positions of the two candidates," John Warner said in early October 2008. "There have been occasions when I have supported Democratic candidates. … But I'm not there yet."

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