On December 28, Northern Virginia businessman Tim Donner officially ended his campaign for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate. Donner sought to succeed Senator Jim Webb, the Democratic incumbent, who announced his retirement earlier this year.
In part one of this exclusive interview with the Charlottesville Libertarian Examiner, Donner acknowledge the reality that the GOP political establishment was fully behind the nomination of former Senator George Allen, who is looking to regain the seat he lost in 2006.
Donner’s decision to withdraw from the field came down, he said, to a cost-benefit analysis.
“As a businessman, I look at the risk and reward ratio,” he explained.
He found “that the risk was too high and the potential of reward was just way too low to make any sense for me to continue in a race where I feel there is no longer a clear path to the nomination.”
Asked if he might follow the path of former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, who withdrew from the Republican presidential race on the same day as Donner’s announcement, Donner said it is unlikely that he would seek a third-party nomination, but he did not rule it out entirely.
“I’m not in a position to make that kind of decision right now,” he said, adding that “the two party system is one that has to be closely inspected and is being closely inspected by the American people.”
He noted that “for now and in the foreseeable future, it’s going to be Republicans and Democrats who are in control of the legislatures and the Congress and the White House, so candidates like me, who are unable to budge the political establishment, have to consider the best way to fight for the kind of change that we feel to be so necessary.”
“Frankly, my sights right now are set on doing all that I can to make sure that 2012 is a year when Barack Obama is not sent back to the White House for four more years and where not just Republicans but conservatives take control of the United States Senate.”
Consequently, he explained, “the question of any future political plans is not anything I’m in a position [to announce] or really think deeply about at this point.”
‘Stay in the fight’
Donner also made a pledge to stay in the arena.
“We need to do all we can,” he said, “to alert people of what’s at stake in this election and do everything we can to reverse the trend towards a social democracy where the federal government is encroaching into every area of our lives in ever increasing measure.”
Donner said he believes “we may only have one more shot to reverse that, and that shot is in 2012. It’s an absolutely critical election. We cannot get it wrong.”
With emphasis, Donner added that “because I’m withdrawing from this race does not mean I’m withdrawing from the fight. I plan to stay in the fight. I plan to use my voice in whatever way I can to advance the cause of a constitutional republic and sound the siren call for 2012 as the most critical election of our lifetime.”
In addition to his formal announcement, Donner’s campaign sent out recorded messages by telephone to supporters around Virginia.
With Donner’s withdrawal, there are four candidates currently seeking the Republican Senate nomination: former Governor George F. Allen, Bishop E. W. Jackson, political activist Jamie Radtke, and attorney David McCormick. The likely Democratic nominee is former Governor Tim Kaine.