VIRGINIA, USA — U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D- Virginia) announced Friday that he would seek reelection in 2024 to serve a third term in the Senate. He made the announcement in his longtime home of Richmond, with his wife by his side.
A former Virginia governor and lieutenant governor, Kaine, 64, will enter the race as the early favorite in a must-hold seat for Democrats facing a tough Senate map in 2024. He is best known nationally as Hillary Clinton’s running mate in the 2016 presidential election, a race they lost to Donald Trump and Mike Pence in one of the most stunning upsets in U.S. history.
"I have been really grappling with what to do with respect to my time in the Senate," Kaine started his announcement. "And I am very happy to announce that I'm going to run for a third term in the Senate."
The Senator said he and his wife discussed whether another term was worth the commitment, but that it ultimately came down to his love for Virginia and feeling like he has a whole more he wants to do. In a press release following his announcement, Kaine listed several of those goals, including providing affordable high-quality child care, expanding access to mental health services and passing an immigration reform bill.
"We need to fight for fundamental liberties, including the freedom to make your own reproductive decisions and the right to vote," Kaine wrote in the release, "Virginia’s natural bounty—air, water, open space—needs protection from threats including climate change. And in a world with threats to democracies at home and abroad, we need a national security strategy that keeps us safe while building up the capacity of the U.S. and our allies to link arms against global threats of all kinds."
Kaine was first elected to the Senate in 2012, defeating Republican George Allen after a bitter and expensive race in which more than $80 million was spent, the largest amount for any Senate contest in the nation during that election cycle. His 2018 contest against far right-wing GOP nominee Corey Stewart was far less competitive; Kaine won by 16 percentage points.
He previously served as a Richmond City Council member, mayor of Richmond, and then lieutenant governor and ultimately governor in the Commonwealth.
Kaine is seen as a passionate yet pragmatic senator and is known as a serious policymaker and eager partner on legislation. In his time as a senator, he has fought automatic federal budget cuts, worked to reduce unemployment among veterans and sought federal recognition for Virginia’s Native American tribes. He recently pressed for the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act and the bipartisan infrastructure law.
WATCH: See Kaine's full announcement, streamed on his Facebook page, below.