Wilder backs Kaine in U.S. Senate race

|
Local,Virginia,Steve Contorno

While former Virginia Gov. Doug Wilder was coy about his support of President Obama, he was very clear about who he likes in his state's hotly contested U.S. Senate race: Democrat Tim Kaine.

Wilder had yet to officially endorse anyone in the Senate race, but the Democrat told The Washington Examiner that Kaine "is going to win it, and I think he should win it."

Still, like everyone else, Wilder believes it will be close.

"I think he's got the best plan and the best ideas," he said. "Having said that, he's in the fight of his life to win. [Republican] George Allen is not going to be easy to defeat."

Wilder said Kaine is particularly strong on education.

"I'm still attracted to his feelings about education," Wilder said. "He moves past where some people talk about just simple slogans and making sure we do put education at the forefront."

Wilder has not always spoken glowingly of Kaine. After Democrats lost their House majority and a handful of Senate seats and governorships in the 2010 midterm elections, Wilder blamed Kaine, who was the Democratic National Committee chairman at the time.

Wilder also seemed to be encouraging Rep. Bobby Scott to run against Kaine for the Democratic nomination for the state's open Senate seat. Kaine ended up running unopposed for the nomination.

But Wilder did back Kaine's gubernatorial bid and touted him as Obama's running mate in 2008.

Kaine would be a pragmatic Senator focused on jobs and reaching across the aisle, Wilder said.

"I think that there is a need for better cooperation in Washington and I think Kaine will be that person," Wilder said.

scontorno@washingtonexaminer.com

View article comments Leave a comment