Senator Mark Warner – The First Member of His Family to Graduate From College
The first in his family to graduate from college, Warner spent 20 years as a technology and business leader. He co-founded the telecommunications company that became Nextel and invested in hundreds of start-up technology companies.
He directed Douglas Wilder’s 1989 gubernatorial campaign and served as chairman of the Virginia Democratic Party. He is married to Lisa Collis and they have three daughters.
With Democrats holding only the tiniest of Senate majorities, Mark Warner has a lot on his plate. He’s an emissary for Democratic leader Chuck Schumer in infrastructure negotiations, a moderating force on the Budget Committee (where he’ll help rein in the social spending ambitions of its irascible chairman, Bernie Sanders), and a key voice on the Intelligence Committee investigating possible Russian election meddling.
He’s also been a reliable ally in bipartisan deals as governor of Virginia, where he hewed state government to size by applying business principles and boosting private-sector jobs. A wealthy former tech investor, Warner often lightens the mood in stuffy Capitol Hill hideaway offices by bringing expensive bottles of wine to the table.
But, despite his rolodex and prowess as a dealmaker, Warner isn’t the type to hog the spotlight. He prefers to fly under the radar, and he’s doing just that this year, leading his Republican challenger by double digits in a swing state, and drawing only the occasional ire of President Trump.
Fighting for U.S. Military Men and Women
The first member of his family to graduate from college, Senator Warner forged a successful career as an executive and business leader, creating a capital-investment firm that helped grow several high-tech companies. He went on to become governor of Virginia on a promise to move the state forward, bringing economic efficiency and education reforms that turned it into America’s best state for business and the best place to get an excellent public education.
As a senator, he has continued to improve government performance and accountability while fighting for the troops and veterans who make this country great. For example, when tens of thousands of Gold Star families were improperly taxed on their survivor benefits because of a flaw in the 2017 GOP tax bill, Warner led the bipartisan effort to fix it and ensure that our military men and women have the resources they need to provide for themselves and their families. He is also committed to advancing plans for new VA medical facilities and making it easier for servicemembers to transition back to civilian life.
Investing in the Future of Work
As part of a new social contract for the future of work, Warner and co-chair Mitch Daniels are seeking to improve the balance between labor and capital. They are working to promote incentives for companies to invest in worker training and skills, as well as to increase workers’ ability to move between jobs.
A former private equity investor, Warner has brought his expertise to the Senate, helping Democratic colleagues understand complex economic issues. He also lightened up the mood in tense budget negotiations by bringing bottles of wine to stuffy Capitol Hill offices.
As Governor of Virginia, Warner helped strengthen the state’s workforce by boosting access to job skills training. He supported career and technical education initiatives, and turned abandoned warehouses into workplace development centers in distressed communities. He also encouraged business investment in the state and worked to improve public school funding. He is currently working to expand access to post-secondary education. Including his bi-partisan bill to help employers reimburse employees for tuition costs.
Investing in Education for a Lifetime
As a young man, Warner struggled to make ends meet. But he persevered and worked hard to build his own success, founding Columbia Capital, a venture-capital firm that made early investments in telecommunications companies, including Nextel.
As Governor of Virginia, Warner helped lead a bipartisan effort to cut spending and apply business principles to state government. He turned a budget shortfall into a surplus and restored Virginia’s AAA bond rating.
In the Senate, he works to bring new energy to our economy by updating oversight of Wall Street and supporting small businesses. He also fights to strengthen national security by taking foreign technology threats seriously.
Senator Warner is a cosponsor of the Jobs and Neighborhood Investment Act, a bill that would provide grants to community development financial institutions for lending to Black-owned businesses. This bill builds off of previous COVID-19 federal aid and ensures that minority-owned businesses have the same opportunity as white-owned businesses to access this vital funding.