| Webb2016.com

Jim Webb hires former Biden PAC official

Former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb stoked further speculation that he may yet mount an independent bid for the White House after hiring Sam Jones, the onetime national finance director of Draft Biden.

A press statement issued to AMI Newswire from Webb's campaign committee gave hints about the former Navy Secretary's future political plans.

According to the statement, "no firm decision has been made about a run." However, Webb spokesman Craig Crawford noted the campaign has done its due diligence on what such a campaign would require.

“After weeks of study, including consultations with ballot experts and independent activists around the country," Crawford said, "we have a handle on what it takes to give voters in every state a real choice.”

Hiring Jones is key to clearing those hurdles, Crawford said.

“We are so pleased that Sam Jones is coming on board to help us examine what is now the decisive issue: How to pay for it,” the spokesman said. 

The Draft Biden super PAC sought to convince Vice President Joe Biden to declare his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Biden officially took himself out of the running in October, a decision he told Connecticut TV station WVIT on Wednesday he regrets.

“I'm honored to be a part of his team and this movement to restore sanity to the national discourse," Jones said, adding that Webb is a "leader who can rise above this mess (and) make voters from all walks of life proud, regardless of their political affiliations."

To appear on the Virginia general election ballot as an independent presidential candidate, Webb would have to follow the same procedure major-party candidates used to qualify for the state's March 1 primary ballot.

Webb would have to file 5,000 signatures of registered voters, with 200 coming from each of Virginia's 11 congressional districts. The petitions would be due Aug. 26, 2016.