Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: 2012, term expires 2018, 1st term.

Born: February 26, 1958, St. Paul, Minn.

Home: Richmond

Education: U. of MO, B.A. 1979, Harvard U., J.D. 1983

Professional Career: Chairman, Democratic Natl. Committee, 2009-11; Practicing atty., 1983-2000; Lecturer, U. of Richmond Schl. of Law, 1987-93, 2010-12.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Catholic

Family: Married (Anne Holton) , 3 children

Tim Kaine, a former Virginia governor, became the state’s junior senator after beating another former Virginia governor, Republican George Allen, in a high-priced campaign in 2012.

Kaine grew up in Overland Park, Kan., a suburb of Kansas City. He was in kindergarten when President Kennedy was assassinated. “As an Irish Catholic, the Kennedy presidency was a matter of real pride for our family,” he recalled in an interview with National Journal. His father ran his own ironworking and welding shop, with Kaine and his younger brothers frequently helping out. Kaine attended the University of Missouri, where he graduated in three years, then went to Harvard Law School. Midway through, Kaine left to spend nine months teaching at a Jesuit mission in Honduras but returned to complete his law degree in 1983. It was there that he met his wife, Anne Holton, the daughter of Linwood Holton, Virginia’s first Republican governor of the 20th century.

For a time, Kaine worked for a federal judge in Macon, Ga., while Holton was working for a federal judge in Richmond. They decided to get married and settle in Richmond. “As is still the case, my wife was more persuasive, and I came to her state,” he said. Kaine subsequently worked as a civil rights lawyer. In 1994, he won a seat on the Richmond City Council and four years later was elected mayor. In 2001, he was elected lieutenant governor.

Kaine ran for governor in 2005 against former state Attorney General Jerry Kilgore. Kaine, a former big-city mayor who held positions well to the left of Kilgore, pitched a quality-of-life agenda designed to appeal to urban and suburban voters, one that emphasized tax relief for homeowners, a statewide pre-kindergarten initiative, a balanced approach to growth, and new transportation solutions. Kilgore took an opposite tack. He relied on hot-button issues like the death penalty and illegal immigration, dismissing Kaine as “too liberal for Virginia.” In one tough ad, a man whose son and daughter-in-law were murdered criticized Kaine for opposing the death penalty for “the worst mass murderer in modern times.” But Kaine said that his opposition to capital punishment was based on religious convictions, and the issue gave him an opportunity to talk about his Catholic faith. Kaine also emphasized that, despite his personal beliefs, he would allow executions as governor.

Kaine won 52%-46%, a victory powered by large margins in suburban Northern Virginia. He crushed Kilgore 60%-38% in suburban Fairfax County, the state’s most populous. He won 74% in nearby Arlington County and 72% in the city of Alexandria. Kaine’s focus on managing growth enabled him to carry six of the state’s 10 fastest-growing counties, including two, Loudoun and Prince William, that were among the fastest-growing in the nation.

In his first year, Kaine had some successes dealing with the Republican-controlled legislature, including passage of a bill requiring rigorous teacher evaluations. But he was unable to deliver on his primary objective of finding a reliable source of transportation financing to relieve traffic congestion. Resistance from House Republicans led to rejection of his legislation for tax and fee increases. Kaine did not stand in the way of four executions of death row inmates, though he delayed the execution of a fifth after questions were raised about the inmate’s mental capacity. He symbolically refused to sign a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage that was approved by the General Assembly for placement on the November 2006 ballot.

Kaine’s second year was dominated by two events in 2007: the mass shootings at Virginia Tech and passage of a compromise $1 billion transportation bill. Kaine was in Japan on an overseas trade mission at the time a deranged Virginia Tech student opened fire on fellow students during classes, killing 32 before taking his own life. He immediately flew back home and won praise for his handling of the tragedy. On the transportation issue, Kaine managed to reach an agreement with the Republican House and Senate on the biggest transportation funding increase in two decades. Since Republicans would not agree to a significant statewide tax increase, the plan called for borrowing up to $3 billion over 10 years and giving taxing powers to regional authorities in the two traffic-choked big metro areas, Northern Virginia and Tidewater. But the plan was frustrated when the state Supreme Court ruled that the regional authorities couldn’t raise taxes.

As part of his $78 billion, two-year budget in 2008, Kaine proposed $1.1 billion for transportation, with a penny sales tax increase in Northern Virginia and Tidewater. But House Republicans steadfastly resisted it. Kaine was frustrated too when the Federal Transit Administration in early 2008 seemed poised to refuse funding for extending Metrorail to Dulles Airport and Loudoun County. But in December 2008, the last full month of the Bush administration, the FTA reversed itself and approved $900 million in financing; the rest was to come from special taxing districts in the edge cities of Tysons Corner and Reston and increased tolls. Barred from considering tax increases by the Republican House, Kaine in 2008 and early 2009 cut spending and laid off employees to adjust for revenue shortfalls. He also used money from the state’s rainy day fund. He reached agreement with House Speaker William Howell on a ban on smoking in bars and restaurants that passed in February 2009, but he failed to get the legislature to agree to require background checks on sales at gun shows and to approve universal pre-kindergarten.

Kaine had some political successes. In February 2007, Kaine endorsed Democrat Barack Obama of Illinois for president, the first governor to do so outside of Obama’s home state. He campaigned heavily for Obama in Virginia and helped him win one of his biggest primary victories there. He was regarded as a possibility for the vice presidential nomination. After the election, Obama named Kaine as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, a post he held from 2009 to 2011.

Kaine got into the Senate race at the urging of Democrats who were eager to find a high-profile challenger to Allen. The Republican had previously held the seat from 2001 to 2007, and his name was frequently mentioned as a potential presidential candidate. But Allen surprisingly lost reelection in 2006 to Democrat Jim Webb, having sparked controversy when he referred to an Indian-American aide to Webb with the racially derogatory term “macaca.”

Kaine and Allen flooded the airwaves with ads. By July 2012, Kaine had raised $10.4 million and spent $7.7 million; Allen had raised more than $8 million and spent $4.9 million. Allen also benefited from the outside group Crossroads GPS, which spent millions attacking Kaine. Allen ridiculed Kaine for accepting a position to head the DNC while he was still governor. For his part, Kaine hit Allen for past support of partial privatization of Social Security. Allen said he did not support changes for current retirees but was open to a voluntary retirement investment plan as a supplement. Kaine also attacked Allen for increasing spending as governor.

During a debate, the normally disciplined Kaine made a rare gaffe. After Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was caught on tape complaining about 47% of Americans not paying taxes, Kaine said he was “open to a proposal that would have some minimum tax level for everyone.” Republicans jumped on the comment, and Allen ran ads highlighting it. But Kaine started to pull ahead in the polls in the fall and scored a big victory for Democrats when he won, 53% to 47%.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 224-4024

(202) 228-6363

RSOB- Russell Senate Office Building Room 231
Washington, DC 20510-4607

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 224-4024

(202) 228-6363

RSOB- Russell Senate Office Building Room 231
Washington, DC 20510-4607

DISTRICT OFFICE

(804) 771-2221

(804) 771-8313

507 East Franklin Street First Floor
Richmond, VA 23219

DISTRICT OFFICE

(804) 771-2221

(804) 771-8313

507 East Franklin Street First Floor
Richmond, VA 23219

DISTRICT OFFICE

(703) 361-3192

(703) 361-3198

9408 Grant Avenue Suite 202
Manassas, VA 20110

DISTRICT OFFICE

(703) 361-3192

(703) 361-3198

9408 Grant Avenue Suite 202
Manassas, VA 20110

DISTRICT OFFICE

(540) 682-5693

(540) 682-5697

611 South Jefferson Street Suite 5B
Roanoke, VA 24011

DISTRICT OFFICE

(540) 682-5693

(540) 682-5697

611 South Jefferson Street Suite 5B
Roanoke, VA 24011

DISTRICT OFFICE

(757) 518-1674

(757) 518-1679

222 Central Park Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23462

DISTRICT OFFICE

(757) 518-1674

(757) 518-1679

222 Central Park Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23462

DISTRICT OFFICE

(276) 525-4790

(276) 525-4792

121 Russell Road Suite 2
Abingdon, VA 24210

DISTRICT OFFICE

(276) 525-4790

(276) 525-4792

121 Russell Road Suite 2
Abingdon, VA 24210

DISTRICT OFFICE

(434) 792-0976

(434) 792-0978

308 Craghead Street Suite 102-A
Danville, VA 24541

DISTRICT OFFICE

(434) 792-0976

(434) 792-0978

308 Craghead Street Suite 102-A
Danville, VA 24541

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Agriculture

Nick Barbash
Legislative Assistant

Appropriations

Alvaro Zarco
Legislative Correspondent

Banking

Ron Storhaug
Senior Economic Policy Advisor

Russel Wade
Legislative Correspondent

Budget

Ron Storhaug
Senior Economic Policy Advisor

Russel Wade
Legislative Correspondent

Campaign

Carolyn Appel
Legislative Aide

Disaster

Nick Barbash
Legislative Assistant

Amanda Chuzi
Legislative Aide

Economics

Ron Storhaug
Senior Economic Policy Advisor

Russel Wade
Legislative Correspondent

Education

Karishma Merchant
Legislative Assistant

Carolyn Appel
Legislative Aide

Energy

Nick Barbash
Legislative Assistant

Environment

Nick Barbash
Legislative Assistant

Amanda Chuzi
Legislative Aide

Family

Karishma Merchant
Legislative Assistant

Foreign

Nicole Porreca
Senior Foreign Policy Advisor

Blake Souter
Defense and Foreign Policy Analyst

Alvaro Zarco
Legislative Correspondent

Michael Pascual
Legislative Fellow

Health

Kristen Molloy
Legislative Assistant

Homeland Security

Ryan Colvert
Military Legislative Assistant

Amanda Chuzi
Legislative Aide

Housing

Alvaro Zarco
Legislative Correspondent

Human Rights

Phillip Olaya
Legislative Assistant

Alvaro Zarco
Legislative Correspondent

Immigration

Phillip Olaya
Legislative Assistant

Alvaro Zarco
Legislative Correspondent

Intelligence

Ryan Colvert
Military Legislative Assistant

Blake Souter
Defense and Foreign Policy Analyst

Judiciary

Phillip Olaya
Legislative Assistant

Labor

Karishma Merchant
Legislative Assistant

Carolyn Appel
Legislative Aide

Medicare

Kristen Molloy
Legislative Assistant

Military

Heather Ichord
Military Fellow

Ryan Colvert
Military Legislative Assistant

Blake Souter
Defense and Foreign Policy Analyst

Public Works

Nick Barbash
Legislative Assistant

Amanda Chuzi
Legislative Aide

Social Security

Ron Storhaug
Senior Economic Policy Advisor

Russel Wade
Legislative Correspondent

Tax

Ron Storhaug
Senior Economic Policy Advisor

Russel Wade
Legislative Correspondent

Technology

Amanda Chuzi
Legislative Aide

Telecommunications

Phillip Olaya
Legislative Assistant

Trade

Ron Storhaug
Senior Economic Policy Advisor

Transportation

Nick Barbash
Legislative Assistant

Amanda Chuzi
Legislative Aide

Veterans

Heather Ichord
Military Fellow

Blake Souter
Defense and Foreign Policy Analyst

Welfare

Karishma Merchant
Legislative Assistant

Carolyn Appel
Legislative Aide

Women

Carolyn Appel
Legislative Aide

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Tim Kaine
Votes: 2,010,067
Percent: 52.96%
George Allen
Votes: 1,785,542
Percent: 47.04%
2012 PRIMARY
Tim Kaine
Unopposed
Prior Winning Percentages
Governor: 2005 (52%)

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