U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., announced Tuesday that he will not run for governor in 2013, saying that he wants to continue the work he was sent to do in Washington.
Warner, in a statement issued shortly after 3 p.m., said Virginians of all political stripes have approached him over the past year to make the bid — which he said he would consider and then make a decision after the November election.
"I’ve talked to a lot of Virginians I respect, and I’ve talked about it with my family," Warner said in a statement.
"But when I asked Virginians to hire me as their Senator, I made a promise to come to Washington to try to be a problem solver. I have to admit, it’s been tougher than I expected. But I’ve tried to keep at it."
Warner's decision means former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe is his party's frontrunner for Virginia's chief executive.
Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli have announced their intentions to seek the GOP nomination.
Recent polls showed Warner leading both Republican candidates.
Warner, a former governor, said he wanted to continue his bipartisan work to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, but also to focus on immigration reform, education improvements and developing an energy plan.
He'll likely be working closely with Democratic Sen.-elect Tim Kaine, his one-time lieutenant governor.
"Mark is a trusted friend and colleague of more than three decades. I was proud to partner with him in Richmond to strengthen Virginia's economy and I look forward to continuing that partnership in Washington as we work to tackle pressing fiscal and economic challenges," Kaine said in a later statement.
Warner campaigned with Kaine throughout 2012.
"I loved being Governor, but I have a different job now — and it’s here, in the United States Senate," Warner stated.
"I hope my value add in Congress is to continue working hard every day to not simply blame the other side, but to actually try to find common ground so we can get stuff done."
He continued: "At times, it’s been frustrating. But I believe this work is important for Virginia, and for our country, and I intend to see it through."