Timothy Michael "Tim" Kaine (born February 26, 1958) is a Virginia politician. Kaine served as the 70th Governor of Virginia from 2006 to 2010, and was the chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2009 to 2011. He was elected governor in 2005, after serving as Lieutenant Governor of Virginia and Mayor of Richmond, Virginia. Kaine was considered a possible choice to be Barack Obama's running mate in 2008, but was not ultimately chosen. On April 5, 2011, Kaine announced his candidacy for the United States Senate seat in Virginia being left open by the retiring Jim Webb in 2012 election after weeks of speculation.
Kaine was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, to Mary Kathleen (née Burns) and Albert A. Kaine, a welder and the owner of a small iron-working shop. Kaine grew up in the Kansas City area and graduated from Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, Missouri.
Kaine graduated from the University of Missouri with a B.A. in economics in 1979. He attended Harvard Law School, taking a year-long break during law school to work with the Jesuit order as a Catholic missionary in Honduras. Kaine is fluent in Spanish from his time in Honduras. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1983, and was admitted to the Virginia Bar. In 1984, Kaine married former Richmond Juvenile Court Judge Anne Holton. Holton is the daughter of former Virginia governor A. Linwood Holton, Jr.. Kaine and Holton have three children, Nat, Woody, and Annella. Kaine practiced law in Richmond for 17 years, specializing in representing people who had been denied housing opportunities because of their race or disability. He was recognized by local, state, and national organizations for his fair housing advocacy. He also taught legal ethics for six years at the University of Richmond Law School. More than ten years into his legal career in 1994, he was elected to the city council of the independent city of Richmond from the portion of the city in which he resided under Richmond's system of nine wards.
Mayor of Richmond
He was elected mayor of Richmond by the city council (which until 2004 chose the mayor from among its membership, rather than the current system of popular vote) in 1998. He spent seven years on the city council, including two terms as mayor. As mayor, Kaine was gained national attention following the implementation of a gun law known as Project Exile, an initiative that moved trials for armed defendants in federal court, which has stiffer sentencing guidelines.
In the Virginia general elections of November, 2001, Kaine ran for lieutenant governor and won with 925,974 votes (50.35%).
His opponents were Republican state Delegate Jay Katzen with 883,886 votes, (48.06%), and Libertarian Gary Reams with 28,783 votes (1.57%). Kaine was inaugurated on January 12, 2002. As lieutenant governor, he served as president of the Virginia Senate.
Governor of Virginia
In 2005, Kaine ran for and won the office of governor of Virginia in the November general election, defeating Republican former Attorney General Jerry W. Kilgore by a margin of 52%-to-46% percent. Kaine was inaugurated in Williamsburg on January 14, 2006.
This makes Kaine the first governor since Thomas Jefferson (in 1779) to be inaugurated in Virginia's colonial capital. Virginia's capitol building in Richmond was under renovation at the time, with the process completed in mid-2007.
Democratic Party chairman
In January 2009, Kaine became the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. He took the position at the request of President Obama, and during his tenure has overseen a significant expansion of the party's grassroots focus through Organizing for America.
2012 U.S. Senate candidacy
Kaine announced on April 5, 2011 that he is running for United States Senate in 2012. He filmed two announcement videos, one in English and the other in Spanish.
Despite his personal opposition to capital punishment, often cited during the 2005 campaign by both sides, he oversaw eleven executions as Governor, including the execution of John Allen Muhammad, the Beltway Sniper on November 10, 2009. He has vetoed eight death penalty expansion bills although some of the vetoes were overturned, and opposed the electric chair as an option. On June 9, 2008, Kaine commuted the death sentence of Percy Levar Walton to life in prison without parole. Tim Kaine has stated he is personally opposed to abortion but he opposes overturning Roe v. Wade. He supports restrictions on abortion, such as requiring parental consent and banning so-called partial-birth abortions in cases where the woman's life is not at risk. He supports some smart growth-style policies to manage sprawl and transportation issues; he refers to these plans as "balanced growth." In early 2009, Kaine was tapped to become the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, succeeding Howard Dean.