Links - Official Site: Forward Together PAC  |  Unofficial Sites: Draft Mark Warner, more
Finances   FEC: Forward Together PAC  |  VPAP: One Virginia PAC (state PAC).   Organization
Patrick Ruffini's 2008 Presidential Wire: Stories on Mark Warner  |  Daily KOS: Mark Warner
In Brief - Elected Governor of Virginia in Nov. 2001; term limited, term expired Jan. 14, 2006.  Honorary Chairman of Forward Together, a federal PAC formed in July 2005.  Chairman of the National Governors' Association, 2004-05.  Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, 1996.  Founding partner of Columbia Capital Corporation.  Chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia, 1993-95.  Managed Doug Wilder's campaign for governor in 1989.  Cell phone entrepreneur; in 1987 co-founded Fleet Call, Inc (which later became Nextel).  Graduate of Harvard Law School, 1980 and George Washington University, 1977.  Born Dec. 15, 1954 in Indianapolis, IN.  [Timeline].

A Leading Potential Candidate Bows Out
Former Virginia Governor Mark Warner ended the possibility of a 2008 presidential run with his Oct. 12, 2006 statement in which he declared "at this point, I want to have a real life."  At that point, four weeks out from the November 2006 mid-term elections Warner appeared well positioned to run as an alternative to the leading Democratic potential presidential candidate, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY).  He brought together a record as an effective and popular governor, a moderate image, the potential to appeal to voters in Southern states where Democratic presidential candidates have not fared well, and strong fundraising ability.  In July 2005 he formed a leadership PAC, and over the next fourteen months he laid the groundwork for a possible run.  As Warner noted in his Oct. 12, 2006 statement, "Forward Together has contributed more money this year to Democratic candidates and party organizations than any other federal leadership PAC.  Our effort raised over $9 million.  I headlined 86 events in 25 states to help raise or directly donate $7.3 million to Democrats this cycle."  There was also early grassroots support; soon after the 2004 campaign a Draft Mark Warner group appeared; in March 2006 it filed with the FEC as the Draft Mark Warner for President Political Action Committee, and by June 2006 it claimed thirty-three state directors or coordinators.  These activists will now need to find another candidate.

An Effective and Popular Governor
In its Nov. 2004 issue Governing magazine named Gov. Mark Warner and John Chichester, the Republican chairman of the Virginia Senate Finance Committee, as two of its Public Officials of the Year for 2004.  Additionally, Virginia was the only state to receive all A's in the Government Performance Project's "2005 Grading the States" which analyzed state government management in terms of money, people, infrastructure and information.  Gov. Warner's popularity was seen as an important factor in Virginians' selection of Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine over Republican Jerry Kilgore in the Nov. 8, 2005 election.

Southern Appeal
A major factor in Warner's appeal is his potential to do well in Southern states, where Democratic presidential candidates have fared poorly in the last two campaigns.  Describing his 2001 campaign, Warner stated, "We even went after a lot of folks in rural Virginia that hadn't voted for a Democrat in ages.  We had a bluegrass band, sponsored a truck in a NASCAR series, and, probably maybe some of you will disagree with me on this, I said, while I think we ought to enforce our existing gun laws, if you like to hunt, I'm not going to take away your shotgun."

Fundraising Ability
Warner's Forward Together PAC got off to a strong start as he raised $2.5 million at a gala dinner in Tyson's Corner on December 6, 2005.  Warner's first job after law school was as a DNC fundraiser for 1 1/2 years.  His subsequent career has given him connections in the high-tech and venture capital worlds.

As Governor, Warner placed a significant emphasis on education, launching a series of "Education for a Lifetime" initiatives in 2003.  As chairman of the Education Commission of the States in 2003-04, he focused on "Improving Teaching Quality in Hard-to-Staff Schools: A National Imperative." >  As chairman of the National Governors Association in 2004-05, Warner chose "Redesigning the American High School" as the theme of his chairman's initiative.  Warner received the Council of Chief State School Officers' 2005 Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his efforts.

Not 2006 but 2008
At one point a "Draft Mark Warner for U.S. Senate Committee" established a web site (  However, in late-August 2005 Warner announced that he would not challenge Sen. George Allen (R-VA) for his Senate seat in 2006.

NDN annual meeting, Washington, DC, June 22, 2006.  [prepared remarks]
Stump speech: NH Senate Democratic Caucus Lunch, Manchester, NH, November 18, 2005.  [transcript]

Matt Bai.  "The Fallback." New York Times Magazine, March 12, 2006 (cover story).
Tod Newcombe.  "Leaving his Mark."  Public CIO.  November 2005 (cover story).
On C-SPAN's "Q&A," program date November 6, 2005.
Michael D. Shear.  "Speculation Grows On Presidential Bid For Warner in 2008."  Washington  Post, November 14, 2004, p. C1. (Less than two weeks after Election Day).

Sept. 21, 2006-Helping Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Jim Webb raise money at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, VA.
Aug. 18-19, 2006-Coffee and dessert social for the Conway Democratic Committee in Conway [Forward Together PAC].  Touring downtown Keene with Democratic State Senate candidate Molly Kelly [Molly Kelly for State Senate].  Event with the Stoddard Democrats at Lakefalls Lodge (Shinbone Shack) in Stoddard. [Forward Together PAC].  Appearance at the Annual Merrimack County Summer BBQ and Potluck Picnic in Bow, NH [Forward Together PAC].
July 12, 2006-Attending the grand opening of congressional candidate Bruce Braley's new headquarters on Sycamore Street in Waterloo, IA [Braley for Congress].
June 22, 2006-Emphasizing competitiveness in his speech to the NDN 2006 Annual Meeting.
June 3, 2006-At the "Blue State/Blue Plate Lunch" during the NH Democratic Party Convention in Goffstown, NH [Forward Together PAC].
April 20-21, 2006-Speaking to the Joint Democratic Caucus, fundraiser for Congressman Leonard Boswell at the home of Harry Bookey and Pamela Bass-Bookey in Des Moines.  Breakfast with local Democrats at Sam's Soda and Sandwich Cafe in Carroll [Forward Together PAC].  Touring West Central's SoyPOWER Biodiesel production plant in Ralston, IA  [West Central Cooperative].
Feb. 10, 2006-Touring Stonyfield Farm in Londonderry; and meetings prior to addressing the New Hampshire Democratic Party's 100 Club dinner in Manchester, NH [Forward Together PAC].
Nov. 18, 2005-Education roundtable with Gov. John Lynch at Nashua High School South in Nashua; and NH Senate Democratic Caucus lunch in Manchester, NH  [Forward Together PAC].
Nov. 13, 2005-After an appearance on CBS News' "Face the Nation."
Nov. 7, 2005-At a campaign rally for Tim Kaine and Democratic candidates in Alexandria, VA.

On the Web  Nov. 15, 2005 grabs
Official Site
Unofficial Site

Copyright © 2004, 2005, 2006  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action