Accessibility links

USA

Kaine Brings Strong Faith, Progressive Ideals to Democratic Ticket


Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton appears with running mate Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., at a rally at Florida International University in Miami, July 23, 2016.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton appears with running mate Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., at a rally at Florida International University in Miami, July 23, 2016.

When Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton announced her vice presidential choice, she referred to Virginia Senator Tim Kaine as a progressive who is "everything Donald Trump and Mike Pence are not.”

Timothy Michael "Tim" Kaine was born on February 26, 1958, in St. Paul, Minnesota, but grew up in the metro area of Kansas City, Missouri. He is the eldest son of an ironworker and a home economics teacher. Kaine attended an all-boys Jesuit high school, joining spring mission drives to fund Jesuit activities in Honduras. He went on to earn a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Missouri before entering Harvard Law School.

Kaine took time off from his law studies to work with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Honduras for nine months in 1980-81, helping Jesuit missionaries who ran a Catholic school in El Progreso. His time there reportedly helped form his support for citizenship for undocumented immigrants in the United States – a stance likely to attract Latino voters. He also learned to speak fluent Spanish, seen as a possible advantage with Hispanic voters.

FILE - Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, accompanied by Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., speaks at a rally in Annandale, Va., July 14, 2016.

FILE - Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, accompanied by Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., speaks at a rally in Annandale, Va., July 14, 2016.

At Harvard, Kaine met his wife, Anne Holton, the daughter of former Republican Virginia Governor Linwood Holton (1970-74), who desegregated the commonwealth's public schools. She now serves as Virginia's secretary of education. They have three children.

After law school, the Kaines settled in Richmond, Virginia, where he spent nearly two decades as an attorney focusing on civil rights and fair housing. He helped found the Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness and was a board member of the Virginia chapter of Housing Opportunities Made Equal.

Political beginnings

Kaine entered politics in 1994 when he was elected to the Richmond City Council, then became the city's mayor. Virginia's voters chose him as their lieutenant governor in 2001. Four years later, he ran for governor against Republican candidate Jerry Kilgore, a former state attorney general. Considered an underdog, Kaine trailed in polls for most of the election but won the race. He governed from 2006 to 2010.

After a stint as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Kaine was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012. As a senator, he has worked on several committees: Armed Services; Budget; and Foreign Relations. He also has served on the Special Committee on Aging.

Calls himself 'boring'

According to the New York Times, Kaine "is widely described by people in his political orbit as a likable, if less than charismatic, figure ... guided by moral convictions that flow from his deep Christian faith."

In an interview with NBC’s "Meet the Press," the senator confessed to being "boring."

After Clinton's announcement last week, Jeff Flake, a Republican senator from Arizona tweeted: "Trying to count the ways I hate @timkaine. Drawing a blank. Congrats to a good man and a good friend."

XS
SM
MD
LG