Tim Kaine to lead Democratic National Committee

Virginia Governor Tim Kaine ’83 is the new chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Kaine will be responsible for preparing for the 2010 midterm elections, and raising money for the party. He plans to work at the party part-time until 2010, when his term as governor is up and he can take over the DNC full-time.

Mentioned early as a possible running mate for Obama, Kaine campaigned vigorously for Obama in Virginia. Obama eventually won the state of Virginia – the first victory for a Democratic presidential candidate in 44 years.

Kaine won election to the Virginia governor’s office in 2005. In January 2006, he was chosen to deliver the Democratic response to President George W. Bush’s State of the Union Address.

Kaine’s career in public service began very early, when he took a year off from law school to volunteer with missionaries in Honduras. After earning his law degree, he practiced law for 17 years, representing people who had been denied housing because of their race or ethnicity. Before entering the political arena, Kaine taught legal ethics at the University of Richmond Law School for six years.

Kaine was elected to the Richmond City Council in 1994 and served four terms, including two terms as Richmond’s mayor. Richmond’s success in reducing violent crime won national recognition from Presidents Clinton and Bush and from the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

In 2001, Kaine was elected to the post of lieutenant governor and worked for four years with Governor Mark Warner.

Kaine joins a growing list of HLS alumni who are affiliated with the new administration.