Kaine Pledges Bipartisan Work in Washington
New Virginia senator says first order of business is to work on good solutions to nation's debt.
Tim Kaine (D), Virginia's newly-elected U.S. Senator, says his first order of business will be to lobby for longterm solutions for the country's fiscal situation.
Kaine held a press conference in Richmond on Wednesday, one day after he defeated former Virginia governor and senator George Allen (R) in the general election. Kaine, governor of the state from 2006-10, earned 52 percent of the vote to Allen's 48 on Tuesday.
Kaine takes over the seat vacated by Sen. Jim Webb (D), who is retiring after one term. Webb defeated Allen in a similarly close Senate race in 2006.
“The key for us in public office is to read the message from the electorate,” Kaine told reporters. “They want cooperative government. They are telling us over and over and over again they want us to work together.”
Kaine said he plans on working on this even before he is sworn in in January.
Kaine added that he hopes to continue Webb's work on military issues and sit on the Armed Services Committee. He said he plans to have a close working relationship with Virginia's senior Sen. Mark R. Warner (D).
To read more from the press conference, read this Richmond Times-Dispatch story.
Meanwhile, what does the future hold for Allen, who has lost two straight senatorial campaigns? Allen lost his senate re-election bid in 2006 after fallout from his calling a staffer for Webb's campaign "macaca," considered a racial slur.
Allen said in an email to supporters he will "continue to advocate the aspirations of families throughout Virginia."
That may or may not be in an elected capacity, experts say. The Washington Post talked to a few campaign-watchers about Allen's future. Read that story here.