Kaine announces, but his path is not clear quite yet
Former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine formally announced that he will seek the Democratic nomination for the open seat in the U.S. Senate seat from Virginia. Kaine used the new customary format to announce his intentions by releasing a web video explaining his rationale for getting in the race.
The City of Richmond was prominently featured in the video. Kaine, a former Richmond City Councilman and Mayor called moving to Richmond the “best decision he ever made.” Kaine moved to Central Virginia as an adult after growing up in the midwest. He met and fell in love with Anne Holton, the daughter of former Governor Linwood Holton, while at Harvard Law School. It was her connection that brought him to Virginia.
You can see the web video below:
Kaine’s announcement ends weeks of speculation that began after former Sen. Jim Webb decided he would step down. His roll-out suffered a few stumbles, including a “non-announcement” to Kaine’s undergraduate class at the University of Richmond.
While most of the Democratic field has waited for Kaine to declare his intentions, his path to the nomination is not clear quite yet. Newport News Congressman Bobby Scott is still mulling a run. Today his spokesman Larry Dillard confirmed that Kaine’s announcement has not changed his thinking. He plans to make his intentions clear by July 1, 2011.
If Scott does run, he would be running against the Virginia Democratic establishment which rallied behind the Kaine announcement today. Sen. Mark Warner, a close ally of Kaine’s released a statement this afternoon that called Kaine a “great friend and a proven leader,” and then went on to say that Warner “Would welcome his partnership in the U.S. Senate on behalf of all Virginians.”
Kevin Hall, an aide to Warner stopped short of calling the statement an outright endorsement of Kaine. He said that if other Democrats choose to get into the race that Warner would have “supportive things to say about their qualifications and public service, too.”
Jim Webb said several weeks ago that Kaine was his choice to succeed him.
Kaine will meet with reporters tomorrow to discuss his campaign. He has already stepped down as the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Former Senator and Governor George Allen has already announced his intentions to run for the Republican nomination. He is being challenged by Chesterfield Tea Party activist Jamie Radtke.