Democrat Terry McAuliffe confirmed in a news release Thursday evening that he plans to run for governor in 2013.
McAuliffe, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, lost the 2009 Democratic nomination to state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds of Bath County. McAuliffe had previously said that he planned to run next year unless Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va., chose to make another run for governor.
"I realize that after any election, some people's immediate question is about the next campaign," McAuliffe said in the release. "I want to be straightforward with you: I plan on running for governor of Virginia in 2013."
Warner, Virginia's governor from 2002 to 2006, says that by Thanksgiving, he will reveal his intentions on a potential 2013 run for governor.
Sen.-elect Timothy M. Kaine said Wednesday that he wants Warner to stay in the Senate. "I think Mark is doing some really important work," Kaine said, citing Warner's efforts to build a bipartisan plan for the deficit.
Warner considered a 2008 run for president, making multiple trips to Iowa and New Hampshire before saying in October 2006 that he would not seek the Democratic nomination. He is mentioned as a possible presidential candidate in 2016.
McAuliffe, a green-energy entrepreneur, said that over the past four years, he has traveled "to every corner of Virginia" for more than 2,400 meetings and events.
"It is absolutely clear to me that Virginians want their next governor to focus on job creation and common-sense fiscal responsibility instead of divisive partisan issues. If we want Virginia to be the best place for business, we need leaders who prioritize economic growth and move beyond the political issues that are designed to divide us."
Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli will vie for the Republican nomination next year in a party convention.