Endorsement: Tim Kaine for U.S. Senate

In the race for Virginia’s open Senate seat, two former governors are squaring off: Tim Kaine, who served as governor from 2006 to 2010, and George Allen, who served a term as governor from 1994 to 1998 and a term as Senator from 2001 to 2007. When you look at the two candidates—their records and what they say they’ll do in office—it’s clear that Tim Kaine is the right choice for Virginia voters.

As governor, Kaine had an outstanding record. He gave targeted tax cuts to homeowners and small businesses, while eliminating tax loopholes for big corporations. He invested in early childhood education and the state’s higher education system to help move Virginia forward. Under his leadership, Virginia was named the “best-managed state” by Governing magazine, the “best state for business” by Forbes and the “best state to raise a child” by Education Week, each year he was in office. He’ll bring those values and priorities to the U.S. Senate.

Allen is running for another chance at holding the seat he lost in the 2006 elections. He has a Senate record we can evaluate. And his record isn’t good enough to merit a trip back across the river to D.C. He was a close ally and enabler of the Bush administration, and voted for the Bush tax cuts that gave their biggest benefits to the richest 2%. He’s given every indication on the campaign trail that he would pick right up where he left off—and what’s more, he says he’d support the Paul Ryan budget that AARP says ends Medicare as we know it, driving up costs for seniors. Paul Ryan’s budget would also cost Virginia thousands of jobs.

You don’t just elect a Senator to take votes, however—that’s only part of the job. You elect a Senator to represent your state and its citizens at the national level. That’s a question of values and temperament, and it’s a test Tim Kaine excels at. He’s a compassionate, smart and pragmatic leader who knows how to reach out to all corners of a changing and growing state.

Allen, however, falls short. In his last race, Allen lost in part because he was caught on tape bullying a young Indian-American cameraman from a rival campaign, telling him “welcome to America and the real world of Virginia.” It was an embarrassing moment that showed Allen’s character clearly.

Tim Kaine’s impressive record, and his talent for connecting with people from all walks of life, will serve Virginia well if he’s elected as their Senator. He’ll make smart policy choices—the kind that were sadly lacking during George Allen’s term.

Kaine is the right choice. Plan your vote here.

Photo by The U.S. Army on Flickr

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