WASHINGTON Democratic Senator Mark Warner said on Tuesday he would not run for governor of Virginia next year, a job he held from 2002 to 2006.
Warner's announcement leaves Terry McAuliffe, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, as the party's only announced nominee to replace current Governor Bob McDonnell, a Republican.
Warner has been mentioned as a possible White House candidate in 2016. He was elected to the Senate in 2008.
"I loved being governor, but I have a different job now - and it's here, in the United States Senate," Warner said in a statement.
He had been approached about running for governor and put off his decision until the November elections were over, Warner said.
Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli are seeking the Republican gubernatorial nomination. Virginia governors cannot serve consecutive terms.
Virginia was a swing state that backed the re-election of President Barack Obama, a Democrat, this month.
(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)