Current Weather
The Spy FM

Virginia Senate Race: Battle Of The Former Governors

Filed by KOSU News in Politics.
May 17, 2012

One of the highest-profile political matchups of the season is playing out in Virginia, where two former governors with powerful friends and big-money backing are battling to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Jim Webb.

The dead-heat matchup pits Democrat Tim Kaine, 54, a favorite of President Obama and a former Democratic National Committee chairman, against George Allen, 60, namesake of his legendary Washington Redskins football coach father and a U.S. senator until undone in a re-election bid by what has become known as his “macaca moment.”

The race is seen as a test of the changing politics of Virginia, where, in 2008, Obama became the first Democrat to win the state in 44 years. It is one of nine swing states targeted by Obama, who in early polls is running slightly ahead of expected GOP nominee Mitt Romney in the Old Dominion.

Here’s a comparison of the candidates:

POLITICS

Gubernatorial Legacy

Allen: Overhaul of state welfare system; sentencing law that barred parole in the state for violent felons.

Kaine: Transportation initiative to help congested Northern Virginia roads; seen as lacking big accomplishment.

Elective Office

Allen: Virginia House of Delegates, 1982-1991; U.S. House, 1991-1993; Virginia governor, 1994-1998; U.S. Senate, 2001-2007

Kaine: Richmond, Va., City Council, 1994-1998; Richmond mayor, 1998-2000; Virginia lieutenant governor, 2002-2006; Virginia governor, 2006-2010

Dumb Move

Allen: Poorly executed 2006 Senate re-election campaign marked by calling a Democratic operative the derisive “macaca” — and welcoming the Virginia native of Indian descent “to America and the real world of Virginia.”

Kaine: While Richmond mayor, spent $6,000 of public money on buses to the Million Mom March promoting gun restrictions; paid it back with privately raised money after backlash.

2012 Money Race

Allen: $6.13 million raised, $3.52 million spent as of March 31, with 13 percent coming from political action committees

Kaine: $7.43 million raised, $2.9 million spent as of March 31, with 7 percent coming from political action committees

ISSUES

Abortion

Allen: Opposes abortion. Believes life begins at conception and advocates overturn of Roe v. Wade. Has 100 percent rating from National Right to Life group.

Kaine: Personally opposes abortion, based on his faith, but supports Roe v. Wade.

Guns

Allen: Endorsed by NRA. Voted against renewal of assault weapons ban. Was an original sponsor of act to repeal Washington, D.C.’s gun ban. Introduced legislation that would allow national park visitors to carry concealed weapons.

Kaine: Supports gun owners’ rights. After the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, as governor he advocated gun limits, including preventing felons and the mentally ill from purchasing weapons.

Death Penalty

Allen: Supports capital punishment.

Kaine: Opposes capital punishment, citing his faith; has supported moratorium on executions.

BIOGRAPHY

Marriage

Allen: Married twice; three children with second wife, Susan Brown. They met at a horse racing event in Charlottesville, Va., in the mid-1980s.

Kaine: Three children with wife, Anne Holton. They met in law school; she’s the daughter of former Virginia Gov. Linwood Holton, a Republican.

Religion

Allen: Presbyterian. During the 2006 Senate campaign, learned from his mother that she had been raised Jewish while growing up in North Africa.

Kaine: Roman Catholic. During a break from law school, taught with Jesuits in Honduras, where he became fluent in Spanish.

Higher Ed

Allen: Bachelor’s degree in history and law degree, both from University of Virginia.

Kaine: Bachelor’s degree in economics, University of Missouri, and law degree from Harvard University.

Private Sector

Allen: After serving as governor, worked as a lawyer specializing in business expansion and relocation. Served on board of directors at three high-tech government contractors.

Kaine: Before becoming governor, worked as lawyer specializing in civil rights and fair housing cases. Chairman of Democratic National Committee, 2009 to 2011. [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

Leave a Reply

2PM to 3PM PRI's The World

PRI's The World

Get a fresh perspective of people, events and trends that shape our world. Host Lisa Mullins covers a wide range of topics, including science, business, technology, sports, art and music.

Listen Live Now!

3PM to 6PM All Things Considered

All Things Considered

For two hours every weekday, All Things Considered hosts Robert Siegel, Michele Norris and Melissa Block present the program's trademark mix of news, interviews, commentaries, reviews, and offbeat features.

View the program guide!

6PM to 7PM Marketplace

Marketplace

Hosted by Kai Ryssdal, award-winning Marketplace is public radio's daily magazine of business and economics.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center