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Virginia Progressives Favor VP Pick Kaine


Monday, July 25, 2016   

RICHMOND, Va. – While voters across the country may wonder about Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, Hillary Clinton's new vice presidential pick, many progressive groups from his home state say they like him.

For Democratic voters nationally, Kaine's positions on trade and financial regulation have drawn questions. But in Virginia, Kaine is being praised for a long record of working with – and fighting for – communities of color and low-income folks.

A devout Catholic, Kaine personally objects to abortion. But Cianti Stewart-Reid, executive director of Planned Parenthood Virginia PAC, says he has been a strong ally.

"The senator has been 100 percent on the issues that matter to us,” she states. “He's voted with us on 14 different measures."

Kaine has an F rating from the National Rifle Association. As governor, he called for gun restrictions after the mass shooting at Virginia Tech.

Many Virginia Republicans say they like him personally, although they fear he will compromise his principles by joining the Clinton ticket.

Environmentalists praise Kaine's efforts on clean energy. Some community groups argue that his work on financial regulation was not on behalf of Wall Street, but was aimed at the small community banks often important in small towns.

Stewart-Reid says Planned Parenthood Virginia feels confident that Clinton and her running mate would nominate good judges.

"Of course, one of the many decisions that she will make as president is filling the opening in the United States Supreme Court, and both she and Sen. Kaine have given their full-throated support to maintaining Row v. Wade," she states.

Political pundits, including the University of Virginia's Larry Sabato, also say Kaine improves Clinton's chances in a vital swing state.

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