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Kaine: Webb’s Running, I’m Not

As speculation continues to swirl regarding whether Virginia Sen. Jim Webb will seek re-election in 2012, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine said Tuesday he thinks the first-term Democrat will indeed run.

“I have no reason, none, in my dealings with the Senator to believe anything else than that he is going to run again in 2012,” Kaine said on MSNBC, according to a transcript. “I fully expect that he’s going to run again, and I’m going to work every bit as hard for him in 2012 as I did in 2006.”

Webb told the Washington Post last month that he expects to make a decision by the end of March. Former Republican Sen. George Allen, whom Webb defeated in 2006, is expected to run, again along with several other Republicans.

Asked whether he would run if Webb opts out, Kaine said: “No, I’ve got a job I really like right now — tough though it may be — and I’m doing what the president wants me to do. I think having been governor of Virginia, it’s hard to top that.”

Kaine was elected governor in 2005, succeeding Mark Warner, now Virginia’s junior Senator. President Barack Obama appointed Kaine DNC chairman in 2009, a role he served part-time until his gubernatorial term ended in early 2010.

Virginia Democrats had enjoyed a series of positive election cycles until 2009, when Republicans swept the races for statewide office, and 2010, when the party picked up three Democratic House seats.

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