Warner Will Retire in 2009; Dems Eye Va. Senate Seat
80 year old statesmen will "quietly step aside"
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2007 5:20 PM CDT
Ranking Member Senator John Warner (R), a Republican from Virginia, questions Army Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute (L). Warner has announced he will not seek a sixth term as senator.   (Getty Images (by Event))
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(Newser) – After 28 years, John Warner will call it quits in 2009, after his fifth Senate term. The GOP stalwart who recently parted ways with President Bush on Iraq strategy announced his retirement today, sending Virginia Democrats and Republicans alike into a tizzy, the Washington Post reports. "I'm going to quietly step aside," said the 80-year-old military-policy expert.

Warner, who said he made up his mind "in the last day or two," did not comment on the mayhem his retirement is causing. Having captured a Republican seat in 2006, Democrats are eager to turn the red state blue. They immediately criticized the GOP hopefuls—including an ex-governor and a current Congressman—expected to vie for Warner's seat.