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Morning Read: Mark Warner for Governor?

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Michael Woestehoff

    Virginia Sen. Mark Warner didn’t do anything this weekend to ward off speculation of his potential gubernatorial run.

    First, the senator -- who is not running for reelection in the Senate -- sat down with NBC12’s Ryan Nobles and didn’t give a straightforward answer when asked about running for governor, saying instead that he wanted to take the next year “one thing at a time.”

    It's no newsflash that sometimes the Senate frustrates me. But what I'm focused on -- I want to help the president get reelected, I want to send Tim Kaine to the Senate and then I've got a job to do on this debt and deficit. You know, if we don't get that fixed, whoever the mayor is, whoever the governor is, whoever the senator is, our country's going to be a lot less prosperous going forward. So let's -- one thing at a time.

    Then, on Saturday night, Warner had a reunion of sorts in Richmond with hundred of his former advisers and supporters.

    “Everyone in that room was hoping he'd run for Governor again,” a senior Virginia Democrat told Politico. “Though it was hard to tell how much of that was pro-Warner vs. anti-McAuliffe sentiment.”

    “Fun party - no deeper meaning although MRW clearly loves the speculation,” another Virginia Democrat said.

    As of now, former DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe is assumed to be the Democratic nominee. Warner finished his first term as Virginia governor in 2006 with a high approval rating and is still popular in the Commonwealth. Virginia law does not permit governors to serve two terms in a row.

    Politico offered three reasons why Warner may be mulling a run for governor. One of the more compelling explanations:

    Lastly, Warner didn’t just drop by the Iowa delegation’s breakfast at this month’s Democratic convention in Charlotte because he wanted to try the grits they were serving at their far-flung hotel. After an aborted 2008 presidential run, he’s still thinking about how he could one day move across the Potomac. And being a governor has historically been a better launching pad than serving in the Senate. Even if he’s ultimately too moderate to win a Democratic primary, he may be a more attractive VP pick to a future nominee if he’s an accomplished two-term Southern governor than just another frustrated senator.

    IN OTHER NEWS:

    * Former aides to D.C. Councilmember Michael Brown say he has a history of bounced pay checks, missed payroll and a dysfunctional management style.

    * WaPo Editorial Board: Virginia is in a big transportation funding jam, and lawmakers haven’t done anything to figure out how to fix it.

    * A $23 million surge in camera ticket revenue helped contribute to D.C.'s $140 million surplus

    * The former environmental chief for D.C. said the Gray administration illegally fired him for being a whistleblower.

    * A watchdog groups says hundreds of deceased people are still on Maryland‘s voter rolls.

    * Doing his weekend TV circuit, Gov. O’Malley slammed Republicans on jobs on CNN.

    * The GenOn power plant in Alexandria is set to close.

    * Tim Kaine’s latest radio ad focuses on women and the economy and features audio from his recent debate against George Allen.