John Warner to retire from Senate

By stepping aside, Virginia's senior senator puts another seat in play for 2008.

Published August 31, 2007 6:09PM (EDT)

In a development that could create a bigger problem for the Republicans than Larry Craig has, Virginia Sen. John Warner has just announced that he will not seek reelection in 2008. "My work and service to Virginia as a senator will conclude upon the sixth day of January, 2009," Warner said in a talk delivered on the campus of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

Warner's retirement opens the door for the Democrats to make a clean sweep of Virginia's Senate seats. Last November, Democrat Jim Webb unseated Virginia's junior senator, Republican George Allen.

The undeclared instant favorite to replace Warner: Former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, a Democrat who seemed poised for a presidential run until he announced last October that he'd stay out of the race.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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