Tim Kaine announces Virginia Senate run «

    Tim Kaine announces Virginia Senate run

    Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine has released a video announcing he will seek the Virginia Senate seat now held by Sen. Jim Webb (D), who is retiring after one term. Kaine, a former Virginia governor, discusses his accomplishments in the state in the two minute video before saying he is running for Senate because “Virginia has answers to help strengthen our nation.” He spends much of the video lauding Virginia and its people, arguing that the state maintains “a tradition of balance and civility here that is sadly disappearing from Washington.” “When we attack common obstacles instead of each other, we solve problems and get things done,” he adds. Kaine told DNC members in an email Tuesday that he would immediately give up his chairmanship to seek the office, the Washington Post reports. Kaine was widely seen as the Democrats’ best candidate to hold the seat being vacated by Webb. The frontrunner in the GOP field appears to be former Sen. George Allen, who narrowly lost his 2006 bid to Webb due in part to what came to be known as his “macaca moment” – his characterization of a 20-year-old Webb volunteer, who is of Indian descent, as “macaca” during a campaign rally. Tim Kaine appears on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on March 28, 2010. (Credit: CHRIS USHER) Allen is expected to face primary challenges, however, including a Tea Party threat in the form of Jamie Radtke. Radtke has attacked Allen for his support for budgets that increased the deficit while in the Senate. Like Kaine, Allen is a former governor; a general-election faceoff between the two in an important swing state for President Obama would be one of the most high-profile Senate races in the nation. In a statement following the announcement, both Allen and National Republican Senatorial Committee Communications Director Brian Walsh tied Kaine to Democrats in Washington. “Over the last several years, Tim Kaine has been the most vocal cheerleader in Washington for the reckless fiscal policies and massive expansion of government that have been the hallmark of the Obama Administration,” said Walsh. Allen said Kaine’s record as governor was “marked by his proposals calling for staggering tax increases and by substantial job losses for Virginians.” “As [DNC] 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,” he added. Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chair Sen. Patty Murray counted with this: “The Republicans have a real tea party primary on their hands, and George Allen has a long record of spending and debt that will be a major issue in this race. Rank and file conservatives are not as enthusiastic about his candidacy as the establishment in Washington D.C.” Kaine, an early supporter of Mr. Obama’s presidential campaign, was Virginia governor between 2006 and 2010. He was previously the mayor of Richmond and the state’s lieutenant governor. It’s not clear who will take over for Kaine at the DNC; among the names being discussed are former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland. Also on Tuesday, former Florida Republican Sen. George LeMieux announced he would seek the Senate seat now held by Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, who is seeking a third term next year. LeMieux served 16 months in the Senate in 2009 and 2010 after being appointed to finish the term of Sen. Mel Martinez.

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