Wilder won't run for U.S. Senate

January 13, 1994|By New York Times News Service

WASHINGTON -- In a stunning denouement to his State of the Commonwealth address, and perhaps to his political career, Gov. L. Douglas Wilder of Virginia said yesterday that he would not run for the U.S. Senate.

The decision by the outgoing governor not to challenge the incumbent, Sen. Charles S. Robb, for the Democratic nomination greatly changes the political calculus in what had been expected to be one of the nastiest Senate contests in the country this year.

"In this stage in my life I feel the need to take another direction," said Mr. Wilder, who had announced in July that he would challenge Mr. Robb, his longtime political rival.

Mr. Wilder had capped a two-decade political career by being elected in 1989 as the first black governor of Virginia. State law bars governors from seeking a second consecutive four-year term.

His decision to take on Mr. Robb, with whom he has feuded publicly for years, was threatening to tear apart the state's Democratic Party.

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