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Tom Davis Opts Against Running For The Senate

Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) is expected to announce this week that he will not run for the Senate seat of retiring Sen. John Warner (R-Va.), according to a senior Virginia Republican familiar with Davis’ plans.

The news was first reported by the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza Monday night.

The seven-term congressman began telling close friends and associates last week of his intentions. Since the Virginia GOP opted to select its nominee through a convention earlier this month, Davis has been giving hints that he might not be running.

Davis had said that a primary was crucial for his campaign, so he could increase his support among voters outside Northern Virginia.

At a National Press Club breakfast last Tuesday, he even suggested he might run against Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) instead in 2012.

A Washington Post poll released this month showed Davis trailing presumptive Democratic nominee Mark Warner by over 30 points, with low name identification outside of Northern Virginia. .

Davis will be the featured speaker at Thursday morning’s Christian Science Monitor breakfast, where he could announce his future plans. Davis could choose to remain in the House, where he serves as ranking Republican on the House Government Reform Committee.

Or he could decide to leave Congress for a more lucrative lobbying job on K Street.

His withdrawal leaves former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore as the only candidate left in the Republican field.

-- with reporting from Jonathan Martin and Mike Allen