Sunday, June 23, 2024
HomenewsTim Kaine's Silence Has Left Democrats on Edge.

Tim Kaine’s Silence Has Left Democrats on Edge.

Democrats hope Tim Kaine will run again to avoid losing another seat in a challenging Senate map in 2024.

The Virginia Democrat and 2016 vice presidential nominee will announce his political future Friday in Richmond.
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Party officials are secretly pressuring Kaine to run for a third term in a state where Republicans won the governorship in 2021.

Kaine has been quiet publicly but made plain he is building an operation that could keep his seat blue again.

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“I have a tremendous staff, raising a lot of money,” Kaine told POLITICO after the midterms. “I’ll decide during the holidays.
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Two sources said the Senate Democratic Caucus has been discussing his retirement. Few Democrats know Kaine’s plans. He appears eager to run it again: A source stated he has a campaign manager and millions in the bank for a possible reelection.

Kaine has $3.9 million cash.

Kaine has likewise made no secret of his diagnosis of long Covid, which he describes as non-debilitating, and has achieved practically everything in politics, from the mayor of Richmond to governor of Virginia to DNC chair to senator to the vice presidential nominee. Though he enjoys his job and is one of the cheery senators, he has little to prove.

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If Kaine resigned, Virginia would have its first open Senate seat in almost a decade. A Kaine departure would certainly create a crowded Democratic primary in Virginia, a typically blue state for Senate seats. It would hurt Democrats in 2024, who must defend seats in Ohio, West Virginia, and Montana.

Republicans are eager for another open seat to replace Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), who startled many Democrats by retiring earlier this month. Gov. Glenn Youngkin, who could run for president, is Republicans’ top option to run against Kaine or in a vacant seat.

On Friday, Kaine will host a Richmond under-40 leaders roundtable.

A press conference will follow. The roundtable setting made some Democrats think Kaine would run.

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Senate-young Kaine is 64. He also had a long Democratic career. He easily defeated far-right GOP candidate Corey Stewart in 2018.

Kaine is known for his bipartisan partnerships, particularly with Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) on abortion rights. He cooperated with Republicans on war power legislation.

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