RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond resident and current Virginia Senator Tim Kaine has been chosen by Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to be her running mate in this November’s presidential election. The announcement was made Friday night.
Kaine has a long history in Richmond and Virginia politics, dating back to 1994 when he was first elected to Richmond City Council in the city’s 2nd district. In 1998, he was elected mayor by his peers on City Council, a position he held until 2002 when he was elected lieutenant governor of Virginia. While lieutenant governor, he served alongside current Senator Mark Warner who was then governor. He then was elected governor of Virginia himself in the 2005 gubernatorial election, a position he held until 2010.
Since 2012, Kaine has served as Virginia’s representative, alongside Warner, in the United States Senate. Kaine is a socially liberal Democrat who has served as the Democratic Party Chair since 2009. He’s publicly pro-abortion and affirmative action and supports the expansion of free trade and the military. Most recently, he has also served on the Senate Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on the Budget.
Rudy McCollum replaced Kaine as Richmond mayor in 2001, having previously worked with the now-senator as vice mayor. McCollum remembers Kaine as a bridge builder, especially in the difficult 1990s. “We had some very challenging times in this city, particularly when it comes to the racial divide. Tim was able to work those divides and really bring people together,” McCollum said.
Others are looking back on the vice presidential candidate’s involvement in Richmond’s Public Schools. “I remember him because his daughter went to middle school with my daughter,” said Karen Jordan. “He was active at Binford middle school. He used to come to PTA meetings; he and his wife were very active when it came to engaging with the students and the teachers.”
Kaine is married to former Richmond Juvenile Court Judge Anne Holton who is also the daughter of former Virginia Governor A. Linwood Holton Jr. They have three children together.
Prior to entering politics, Kaine practiced law in the Richmond area for about 17 years, mostly focusing on discrimination in housing cases in the area. He also taught law ethics at the University of Richmond for six years during that time.
Kaine was chosen in large part because of his broad appeal across the hotly contested swing state of Virginia.
Some would consider him the antithesis to Republican nominee Donald Trump, due to his down-to-earth persona, self-deprecating humor and habit of breaking out a harmonica at campaign stops.
Friends and colleagues describe Kaine as someone who prides himself on his ability to work with a broad spectrum of political adversaries, but isn’t above digging down deep to win tight political contests. To date, he has never lost an election.
John Watkins, a Republican and former Virginia state senator, said of Kaine: “I think [Trump] would have a hard time getting under Tim Kaine’s skin.”
Americans will soon find out, as the general election continues.
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