Mark R. Warner (born December 15, 1954) is an American politician, currently the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Warner was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. He graduated from George Washington University in 1977, being the first person in his family to graduate from college. He then graduated from Harvard Law School in 1980. Before becoming Governor, Warner was involved in telecommunications, Information Technology (IT), educational opportunities, and his main profession, law. He managed Douglas Wilder's successful 1989 campaign and unsuccessfully ran for United States Senate in 1996 against Republican Senator John Warner (no relation).
Warner, a moderate Democrat, ran for Governor in 2001 after years of slowly building up a powerbase in rural Virginia and he defeated the Republican candidate Mark Earley by a margin of almost 100,000 votes. Warner's term as Governor has been dominated by his struggle with Virginia's massive debt, inherited from the previous Republican governor James S. Gilmore III.
Warner's popularity paid off for the Democrats, when in 2003 they made a net gain in the Virginia House of Delegates for the first time in generations (although the House remained under Republican control). Warner endorsed John Kerry's bid for the Presidency in 2004, and is seen by the media as a possible running mate for the Massachusetts Senator.