Sen. Tim Kaine kicks off reelection campaign with focus on optimism, effective governing

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., gives remarks to supporters at a reelection campaign event in Alexandria. (Michael O'Connor/Dogwood)


By Michael O'Connor

April 8, 2024

Sen. Kaine vowed to continue standing up to former president Donald Trump and his conservative allies in Congress.

US Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., kicked off his 2024 reelection campaign last week with a focus on effective governance and standing up to former president Donald Trump.

“Virginia has made some progress but the progress hasn’t been matched by everything we need to do at the national level,” Kaine said at an event in Alexandria on Friday.

Kaine highlighted the importance of optimism as he shared details from his biography including being the son of an ironworker, his volunteer work in Honduras, experience as a civil rights lawyer, and time in local office in Richmond. Kaine has made “Standing Up for Virginia” the motto of his campaign to reflect the fight he sees happening in politics today.

“I realized something very powerful when I was barricaded in the Capitol on January 6, 2021, and I watched what a disgraced exiting president was doing to try to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power,” Kaine said. “There’s a battle going on – in this country (and) around the world – between those who stand up for others and stand up together and those who will tear us down and tear us apart.”

Kaine applauded the work of the Biden Administration to increase manufacturing jobs in the US and keep unemployment low. Kaine contrasted the Biden administration’s and his own work to the polarizing impacts of the Trump administration, recalling how one of Trump’s first acts in office was to ban citizens traveling to the US from certain Muslim-majority countries.

“We are up against the greatest teardown artist in the history of American politics and a disgraced ex-president: Donald J. Trump,” Kaine said. “He tears down our basic values.”

There are eight Republicans competing in a primary election to challenge Kaine in November.

Kaine’s reelection events last week were dogged by activists calling for the senator to do more to put pressure on Israel to end its war in Gaza as a humanitarian crisis rages. At Friday’s event in Alexandria, Kaine’s remarks were interrupted multiple times and chants could be heard from outside as Kaine continued speaking to his supporters.

“Sanctions – not just a ceasefire,” one protester yelled as she was escorted out.

Calling the war in Gaza a “heartbreaking situation,” Kaine said hostages taken by Hamas militants on Oct. 7 need to be released and there needs to be a ceasefire. Kaine acknowledged that the interruptions from pro-Palestinian activists come with the territory of running for elected office.

“I volunteered for this job, including talking to people who don’t agree with what I’m doing,” Kaine said.

  • Michael O'Connor

    Michael is an award-winning journalist who has been covering Virginia news since 2013 with reporting stints at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Virginia Business, and Richmond BizSense. A graduate of William & Mary and Northern Virginia Community College, he also covered financial news for S&P Global Market Intelligence.



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