|United States Senator
January 3, 2009
Serving with Tim Kaine
|Preceded by||John Warner|
|69th Governor of Virginia|
January 14, 2002 – January 14, 2006
|Preceded by||Jim Gilmore|
|Succeeded by||Tim Kaine|
|Born||Mark Robert Warner
December 15, 1954
Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.
|Alma mater||George Washington University (B.A.)
Harvard Law School (J.D.)
Mark Robert Warner (born December 15, 1954) is an American politician and the senior United States Senator from Virginia, in office since 2009. He is a member of the Democratic Party. Warner was the 69th Governor of Virginia from 2002 to 2006 and is the honorary chairman of the Forward Together PAC. Warner delivered the keynote address at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Apart from politics, Warner is also known for his involvement in telecommunications-related venture capital during the 1980s; he founded the firm Columbia Capital.
In 2006 he was widely expected to pursue the Democratic nomination in the 2008 U.S. presidential elections; however, he announced in October 2006 that he would not run, citing a desire not to disrupt his family life. Warner was considered to be a potential vice presidential candidate, but upon receiving the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate, he announced that he "will not accept any other opportunity."
- 1 Early life, education, and business career
- 2 Early political career
- 3 69th Governor of Virginia
- 4 U.S. Senate
- 5 Electoral history
- 6 Personal life
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Early life, education, and business career
Warner was born in Indianapolis, Indiana; he is the son of Marjorie (née Johnston) and Robert F. Warner, and is the older brother of Lisa Warner. He grew up in Illinois, and later in Vernon, Connecticut, where he graduated from Rockville High School. He attributes his interest in politics to his eighth grade social studies teacher, Jim Tyler, who "inspired him to work for social and political change during the tumultuous year of 1968." Warner was class president for three years at Rockville High School and hosted a weekly pick-up basketball game at his house, "a tradition that continues today."
Warner later went on to major in political science at The George Washington University (GW), earning his B.A. in 1977 with a 4.0 GPA. He was valedictorian of his class at GW and the first in his family to graduate from college. At GW he had worked on Capitol Hill to pay for his tuition, riding his bike early mornings to the office of U.S. Senator Abe Ribicoff, Democrat from Connecticut. When his parents visited him at college, he obtained two tickets for them to tour the White House; when his father asked him why he didn't get a ticket for himself, he replied, "I'll see the White House when I'm president." After graduation, Warner attended Harvard Law School, where he coached the school's first intramural women's basketball team and received his Juris Doctor in 1980. Warner has never practiced law.
In the early 1980s, Warner served as a staff member to U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd, also a Democrat from Connecticut. He later used his knowledge of federal telecommunication law and policies as a broker of mobile phone franchise licenses, making a significant fortune. According to one source, this knowledge was gained while working as fundraiser for Democrats. As founder and managing director of Columbia Capital, a venture capital firm, he helped found or was an early investor in a number of technology companies. He was one of the early investors in Nextel, co-founded Capital Cellular Corporation, and built up an estimated net worth of more than $200 million.[dead link]
Early political career
Warner involved himself in public efforts related to health care, telecommunications, information technology and education. He managed Douglas Wilder's successful 1989 gubernatorial campaign and served as chairman of the state Democratic Party from 1993-1995.
1996 U.S. Senate election
He unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. Senate in 1996 against incumbent Republican John Warner (no relation) in a "Warner versus Warner" election. Mark Warner performed strongly in the state's rural areas, making the contest much closer than many pundits expected. He lost to the incumbent, 52%-47%, losing most parts of the state including the North.
69th Governor of Virginia
In 2001 Warner campaigned for governor as a moderate Democrat after years of slowly building up a power base in rural Virginia, particularly Southwest Virginia.
He defeated Republican candidate Mark Earley, the state attorney general, in "Mark versus Mark" election, with 52.16 percent, a margin of 96,943 votes, and also Libertarian candidate William B. Redpath. Warner had a significant funding advantage, spending $20 million compared with Earley's $10 million. Warner also benefited from dissension in Republican ranks after a heated battle for the nomination between Earley, backed by religious conservatives, and then-lieutenant governor John H. Hager, some of whose supporters later openly backed Warner. In the same election, Republican Jerry Kilgore was elected attorney general, and Democrat Tim Kaine was elected lieutenant governor. In his campaign for governor in 2001, Warner said that he would not raise taxes.
After he was elected in 2002, Warner drew upon a $900 million "rainy day fund" left by his predecessor, James S. Gilmore, III. Warner also campaigned in favor of two regional sales tax increases (Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads) to fund transportation. Virginians rejected both regional referendums to raise the sales tax in 2002. In 2004, Warner worked with Democratic and moderate Republican legislators and the business community to reform the tax code, lowering food and some income taxes while increasing the sales and cigarette taxes. Warner's tax package effected a net tax increase of approximately $1.5 billion annually. Warner credited the additional revenues with saving the state's AAA bond rating, held at the time by only five other states, and allowing the single largest investment in K-12 education in Virginia history. Warner also entered into an agreement with Democrats and moderate Republicans in the Virginia Senate to cap state car tax reimbursements to local governments, which had the effect of increasing car taxes in many localities.
During his tenure as Governor, Warner also influenced the world of college athletics. "Warner used his power as Virginia’s governor in 2003 to pressure the Atlantic Coast Conference into revoking an invitation it had already extended to Syracuse University. Warner wanted the conference, which already included the University of Virginia, to add Virginia Tech instead — and he got his way."
Warner's popularity may have helped Democrats gain seats in the Virginia House of Delegates in 2003 and again in 2005, reducing the majorities built up by Republicans in the 1990s. Warner chaired the National Governors Association in 2004-05 and led a national high school reform movement. He also chaired the Southern Governors' Association and was a member of the Democratic Governors Association. In January 2005, a two-year study the Government Performance Project, in conjunction with Governing magazine and the Pew Charitable Trust graded each state in four management categories: money, people, infrastructure and information. Virginia and Utah received the highest ratings average with both states receiving an A- rating overall, prompting Warner to dub Virginia "the best managed state in the nation."
Kaine and Kilgore both sought to succeed Warner as governor of Virginia. (The Virginia Constitution forbids any governor from serving consecutive terms; so Warner could not have run for a second term in 2005.) On November 8, 2005, Kaine, the former mayor of Richmond, won with 52% of the vote. Kilgore, who had resigned as attorney general in February 2005 to campaign full-time and who had previously served as Virginia secretary of public safety, received 46% of the vote. Russ Potts, a Republican state senator, also ran for governor as an independent, receiving 2% of the vote. Warner had supported and campaigned for Kaine, and many national pundits considered Kaine's victory to be further evidence of Warner's political clout in Virginia, as well as a signal of his viability as a presidential candidate.
On November 29, 2005, Warner commuted the death sentence of Robin Lovitt to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Lovitt was convicted of murdering Clayton Dicks at an Arlington pool hall in 1999. After his trial in 2001, a court clerk illegally destroyed evidence that was used against Lovitt during his trial, but that could have possibly exonerated him upon further DNA testing. Lovitt's death sentence would have been the 1,000th carried out in the United States since the Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment as permissible under the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution in 1976. In a statement, Warner said, "The actions of an agent of the commonwealth, in a manner contrary to the express direction of the law, comes at the expense of a defendant facing society's most severe and final sanction." Warner denied clemency in 11 other death penalty cases that came before him as governor.
Warner also arranged for DNA tests of evidence left from the case of Roger Keith Coleman, who was put to death by the state in 1992. Coleman was convicted in the 1981 rape and stabbing death of his 19-year-old sister-in-law, Wanda McCoy. Coleman drew national attention, even making the cover of Time, by repeatedly claiming innocence and protesting the unfairness of the death penalty. However, DNA results announced on January 12, 2006, seemed to confirm Coleman's guilt.
While on October 12, 2006, Warner ruled out a 2008 presidential bid, Warner declared on September 13, 2007, that he would run for Senate in 2008, following an announcement nearly two weeks prior by then-current senator John Warner (no relation) that he would not seek reelection.
Warner immediately gained the endorsement of most national Democrats. He held a wide lead over his Republican opponent, fellow former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore, for virtually the entire campaign.
In a Washington Post/ABC News Poll dated Wednesday, September 24, Warner was up 30 points over Gilmore.
In the November election, Warner defeated Gilmore, taking 65 percent of the vote to Gilmore's 34 percent. Warner carried all but four counties in the state—Rockingham, Augusta, Powhatan and Hanover. In many cases, he ran up huge margins in areas of the state that have traditionally voted Republican. This was the most lopsided margin for a contested Senate race in Virginia since Chuck Robb took 72 percent of the vote in 1988.
As a result of Warner's victory, Virginia had two Democratic U.S. Senators for the first time since Harry Byrd, Jr. left the Democrats to become an independent (while still caucusing with the Democrats) in 1970.
Upon arriving in the U.S. Senate in 2009, Warner was appointed to the Senate’s Banking, Budget, and Commerce committees. Warner was later named to the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2011.
In 2009, Warner voted for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the stimulus bill. As a member of the Budget Committee, he pushed for performance metrics and continually urged greater transparency and accountability in how the stimulus funds were being spent.
Warner voted for the 2010 Affordable Care Act (commonly called Obamacare). He and 11 Senate freshmen discussed adding an amendment package aimed at addressing health care costs by expanding health IT and wellness prevention.
From the start of his Senate term, Warner attempted to replicate in Washington the bipartisan partnerships that proved successful during his tenure as Virginia Governor. In 2010, Warner worked with a Republican colleague on the Banking Committee, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), to write a key portion of the Dodd-Frank Act that seeks to end taxpayer bailouts of failing Wall Street financial firms by requiring “advance funeral plans” for large financial firms.
In 2011, Warner voted for the four-year extension of the USA PATRIOT Act.
In 2011, he engaged Northern Virginia’s high-tech community in a pro-bono effort to correct burial mistakes and other U.S. Army management deficiencies at Arlington National Cemetery. In 2012, he successfully pushed the Navy to improve substandard military housing in Hampton Roads.
Also in 2012, he pushed the Office of Personnel Management to address the chronic, sometimes year-long backlog in processing retirement benefits for federal workers, many of whom live in Washington's northern Virginia suburbs. Warner also was successful in pushing the Department of Veterans Affairs to expand access to PTSD treatment for female military veterans returning from service in Iraq and Afghanistan.
On the Senate Budget Committee, Warner was appointed chairman of a bipartisan task force on government performance in 2009. Warner was a lead sponsor of the 2010 Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), which imposed specific program performance goals across all federal agencies and set-up a more transparent agency performance review process.
Warner was the original Democratic sponsor of the Startup Act legislation and has partnered with the bill's original author Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) to introduce three iterations of the bill: Startup Act in 2011, Startup Act 2.0 in 2012 and Startup Act 3.0 in early 2013. Warner describes the legislation as the "logical ‘next step’ following enactment of the bipartisan JOBS Act."
Between 2010-13, Warner invested considerable time and effort in leading the Senate’s Gang of Six, along with Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA). The unlikely duo organized an effort to craft a bipartisan plan along the lines of the Simpson-Bowles Commission to address U.S. deficits and debt. Although the Gang of Six ultimately failed to produce a legislative “grand bargain,” they did agree on the broad outlines of a plan that included spending cuts, tax reforms that produced more revenue, and reforms to entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security -- entitlement reforms that are opposed by most Democrats.
In the fall of 2012, Warner was approached by supporters about possibly leaving the Senate to seek a second four-year term as Virginia’s governor. After considering the prospect, Warner announced shortly after the November 2012 elections that he had chosen to remain in the Senate because he was “all in” on finding a bipartisan solution to the country’s fiscal challenges.
In 2011, the bipartisan Concord Coalition awarded Sens. Warner and Chambliss its “Economic Patriots Award” for their work with the Gang of Six. In 2013, the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress gave Sens. Warner and Corker its Publius Award for their bipartisan work on financial reform legislation. Also in 2013, Warner was awarded the Distinguished Public Service Medal by U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, the Navy’s highest honor for a civilian, for his consistent support of Virginia’s military families and veterans.
- Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
- Committee on the Budget
- Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation
- Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security
- Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet
- Subcommittee on Competitiveness, Innovation, and Export Promotion
- Subcommittee on Science and Space
- Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security
- Committee on Rules and Administration
- Select Committee on Intelligence
- Joint Economic Committee
|United States Senate election in Virginia, 2008|
|Virginia gubernatorial election, 2001|
|United States Senate election in Virginia, 1996|
|Republican||John Warner (Incumbent)||1,235,743||52.5||-27.9|
Warner married Lisa Collis, whom he had met in 1984 at a keg party in Washington, D.C., in 1989. While on their honeymoon in 1989 in Egypt and Greece, Warner became ill; upon returning home, doctors discovered he had suffered a near-fatal burst appendix. Warner spent two months in the hospital recovering from the illness. During her husband's tenure as governor, Collis was the first Virginia first lady to use her maiden name. Warner and Collis have three daughters: Madison, Gillian, and Eliza.
Warner is involved in farming and winemaking at his Rappahannock Bend farm. There, he grows 15 acres (61,000 m2) of grapes for Ingleside Vineyards; Ingleside bottles a private label that Warner offers at charity auctions.
- Bob Lewis (2008-06-14). "Warner takes self out of VP mix". The San Francisco Chronicle. Associated Press. Retrieved 2008-06-15.[dead link]
- Hook, Carol S. "10 Things You Didn't Know About Mark Warner." U.S. News & World Report 5 November 2008.
- "Mark R. Warner." Biography Resource Center Online. Gale, 2003. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2008. http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BioRC. Document Number: K1650003526. Fee. Retrieved 2008-09-25.
- Peter Hardin (2007-10-16). "Mark Warner's funds top $1 million". InRich.com. Retrieved 2007-12-16.
- On-line Campaign Finance Disclosure Reports
- "Mark Warner's rising stock". The Roanoke Times. 2006-01-01. Retrieved 2007-12-16.
- Page Boinest Melton (200-01). "Reality check". VirginiaBusiness.com. Retrieved 2007-12-16. [dead link]
- Kornacki, Steve (2011-10-27) Why all of West Virginia now hates Mitch McConnell, Salon.com
- "Virginia". Government Performance Project. Governing magazine. 2005. Retrieved 2006-10-02.
- Glod, Maria; Michael D. Shear (January 13, 2006). "DNA Tests Confirm Guilt of Executed Man". Washington Post. Retrieved 2006-10-02.
- Jeff E. Schapiro (July 26, 2005). "WARNER LEADS HYPOTHETICAL RACE ; GOVERNOR COULD BE TOUGH RIVAL TO ALLEN FOR SENATE, POLL FINDS". Richmond Times-Dispatch.
- Rozell, Mark J. "Virginia Gubernatorial Election". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
- "Poll says Allen leads potential challengers in race for Senate. | Goliath Business News". Goliath.ecnext.com. 2005-12-09. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
- Washington Post, October 17, 2006
- Larry Sabato (2007-12-14). "A Second Democratic Year in '08?". RealClearPolitics. Retrieved 2007-12-16.
- CNN.com (2008). America needs Obama, says ex-Virginia governor. Retrieved August 28, 2008.
- Craig, Tim; Jennifer Agiesta (2008-09-24). "Warner Leads Gilmore By 30 Points, Poll Finds: Warner Leads Gilmore By 30 Points, Poll Finds. GOP-Held U.S. Senate Seat From Va. Is at Stake". Washington Post. p. Page B01. Retrieved 2008-09-24.
- Results by county for 2008 Senate election
- Warner Press Release, "Greater accountability for stimulus spending," March 10, 2010, http://www.warner.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Blog&ContentRecord_id=656a287c-cfa8-492a-9fb3-19b8740abc36
- David Broder, "Freshmen senators offer sensible health care cuts," Washington Post (Dec. 11, 2009), http://www.chron.com/opinion/outlook/article/David-Broder-Freshman-senators-offer-sensible-1618522.php
- http://blogs.roanoke.com/politics/2010/12/17/senate- passes-warner-bill-on-transparency-and-accountability/
- "U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 113th Congress – 1st Session". Legislation & Records. United States Senate. Retrieved 2013-07-30.
- Chuck Todd (18 April 2013). "Why the gun measure went down to defeat". NBC News.
- Bedard, Paul (November 20, 2005). "A Modern-Day Thomas Jefferson?". U.S. News. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mark Warner.|
- Senator Mark Warner official U.S. Senate site
- Forward Together PAC
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Biography at Ballotpedia
- Biography at NNDB
- Biography, voting record, and interest group ratings at Project Vote Smart
- Congressional profile at GovTrack
- Congressional profile at OpenCongress
- Congressional profile at Roll Call
- Fact-checking at PolitiFact.com
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Financial information (federal office) at OpenSecrets.org
- Financial investments (personal) at The Washington Post
- Financial information (state office) at the National Institute for Money in State Politics
- Issue positions and quotes at On the Issues
- Legislation sponsored at The Library of Congress
- Voting record at The Washington Post
- Works by or about Mark Warner in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Appearances on C-SPAN programs
- Appearances at the Internet Movie Database
- Collected news and commentary at Bloomberg News
- Collected news and commentary at The New York Times
- Collected news and commentary at The Washington Post
- C-SPAN Q&A interview with Warner, November 6, 2005
- Archival Records
- Archived Web Site of Virginia Governor Mark R. Warner, 2005-2006 part of Virginia's Political Landscape 2005 Web Archive Collection at Virginia Memory
- A Guide to the Governor Mark R. Warner, Executive Office, Records, 2001-2006 at The Library of Virginia
- A Guide to the Records of the Policy Office of Governor Mark R. Warner, 2002-2006 at The Library of Virginia
- A Guide to the Governor Mark R. Warner, Press Office records, 2001-2006 (bulk 2002-2006) at The Library of Virginia
- A Guide to the Governor Mark R. Warner, Transition Office, Records, 2001 at The Library of Virginia
- A Guide to the Governor Mark R. Warner, Virginia Liaison Office, Records, 2002-2005 at The Library of Virginia
|Governor of Virginia
|Chairman of the National Governor's Association
|United States Senate|
|United States Senator (Class 2) from Virginia
January 3, 2009 – present
Served alongside: Jim Webb, Tim Kaine
|Party political offices|
Edythe C. Harrison (1984)
|Democratic Party nominee for United States Senator (class 2) from Virginia
1996 (lost), 2008 (won)
Donald S. Beyer
|Democratic Party nominee for Governor of Virginia
|Keynote Speaker of the Democratic National Convention
|United States order of precedence (ceremonial)|
|United States Senators by seniority
|Representatives to the 111th United States Congress from Virginia (ordered by seniority)|
|111th||Senate: J. Webb | M. Warner||House: F. Wolf | R. Boucher | J. Moran | B. Goodlatte | R. Scott | E. Cantor | A. Forbes | R. Wittman | G. Nye | T. Perriello | G. Connolly|