From the Washington Post:
Virginia Gov. Mark R. Warner (D) announced today that he will not challenge Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) next year, leaving the popular Democrat free to explore a presidential bid.
"I want to make sure that we can go out and recruit a strong candidate by making my intentions clear this early," Warner said on his month radio show on WTOP. He promised to help Democratic Party officials find a suitable candidate.
Warner's decision, first reported by The Washington Post yesterday, robs Virginia of what could have been a blockbuster political confrontation in 2006. Allen, a former governor who is ending his first term in the Senate, remains popular at home and is also considering a run at the presidency in 2008.
Senators rarely become president, and Warner would be dogged by questions over the 2008 presidency if he runs in 2006 for George Allen's Senate seat.