By Michael D. Shear
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
RICHMOND, Jan. 9 -- Harris Miller, a Northern Virginia telecommunications lobbyist for more than a decade, announced Monday that he will seek the Democratic nomination to run against U.S. Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) in November.
Miller, 54, said he has quit his job as president of the Arlington-based Information Technology Association of America to run against Allen. Miller filed the federal elections paperwork Monday and launched his Web site, http://www.miller2006.org .
"I can make a difference by focusing on the future instead of getting caught up in cheap partisan politics," Miller said Monday evening. "The whole way Washington is running right now is all about partisanship. There is no attempt to reach across party lines and reach common-sense solutions."
Allen's chief of staff, Dick Wadhams, welcomed Miller to the race and said simply that "we shall look forward to whoever the Democratic Party chooses for its nominee later this year."
After serving four years as governor of Virginia, Allen defeated Democratic Sen. Charles S. Robb in 2000. In addition to running for reelection, Allen is said to be exploring a presidential bid in 2008, making frequent trips to New Hampshire and other states that hold early primaries.
Miller made reference to those trips Monday.
"I'm committing to serve six years in the Senate. Clearly, George Allen has other things on his mind," Miller said. "I don't think there are too many people in New Hampshire who can vote for him in November."
Miller, who lives in Fairfax County, said he will consider investing some of his own money in the race, though he declined Monday to say how much. He is married and has a daughter in college and a son who has graduated from college.
Miller is the only announced Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate seat. But several other names have been mentioned, including former Navy secretary James Webb, who has said he is considering a bid against Allen.
Ellen Qualls, a spokeswoman for Gov. Mark R. Warner (D), said the governor believes Miller is "a good friend and a credible candidate with a good story to tell." But she said Warner will "support the party's nominee, whoever that is."