It’s finally official: Former Governor Tim Kaine, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, is running for Jim Webb’s Senate seat. Following talks with both U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Barack Obama, Kaine hinted at a possible campaign run early last month.
Like his Republican opponent, former Senator George Allen, Kaine announced his candidacy in a video. In a video titled "Best Decision I Ever Made" (a reference to Kaine’s choice to move to Richmond, marry his wife and run for local office), Kaine says he is running for the Senate "because America has big challenges, and I am convinced that Virginia has answers to help strengthen our nation." He adds that Virginia possesses a “balance and civility here that is sadly disappearing from Washington.” (For the announcement video in Spanish, click here).
During Kaine’s tenure as governor, Virginia was named best-managed state, best state for business and best state to raise a child.
“As Governor, I helped lead Virginia through the toughest economy in 70 years,” he says. “We cut billions of dollars from the state budget tighten our belt, and made government more efficient. We also invested in key priorities like education, Rail to Dulles, cleaning the bay and saving open space.” He also throws a jab at the Washington political climate, and says “when we attack common obstacles instead of each other, we solve problems and get things done.”
Allen’s campaign issued a prompt response to Kaine’s announcement via e-mail.
"While Chairman Kaine may try to paint a different picture of his tenure as Governor, it was marked by his proposals calling for staggering tax increases and by substantial job losses for Virginians," according to a statement from Allen’s campaign. "As Chairman, Kaine stood with his liberal Washington allies like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi as they imposed their harmful agenda on Virginia and America, making trillion dollar deficits the norm and loading our children with the burden of an unprecedented national debt."