Home 2022 Elections Sen. Tim Kaine Endorses State Senator Jennifer McClellan for the VA04 Democratic...

Sen. Tim Kaine Endorses State Senator Jennifer McClellan for the VA04 Democratic Nomination Next Tuesday

Kaine says McClellan would be "worthy successor" to Rep. Donald McEachin.


Sen. Tim Kaine – who started his political career in Richmond, on the city council and then as mayor, before becoming Lt. Governor, Governor and US Senator – has endorsed State Senator Jennifer McClellan for the VA04 Democratic nomination next Tuesday. That’s a big one, not least given that a large chunk of VA04 is in Richmond and its suburbs, plus of course the fact that Sen. Kaine is highly popular and respected by Democratic voters. It’s not really unexpected, given that Sen. Kaine is very close with State Sen. McClellan. Regardless, but I’d heard that Kaine was going to stay out of it, so this is definitely interesting (maybe motivated in part by Joe Morrissey’s surprise entry into the race, and a desire to make sure he does NOT get the nomination?). Also, of course, Kaine’s endorsement should boost McClellan in this coming Tuesday’s Democratic “firehouse primary” against Del. Lamont Bagby, State Sen. Joe Morrissey, former Del. Joseph Preston and Tavorise Marks). But we’ll see how important endorsements are in this race, as opposed to simply informing supporters about this election and getting them out to vote…

Sen. McClellan Statement on Sen. Kaine’s Endorsement of Her Campaign for Congress

Kaine throws support behind McClellan in Virginia’s 4th Congressional District

Today, U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine endorsed Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) in her bid for U.S. Congress. Kaine previously served as mayor and city council member in Richmond. He was elected Governor the same year as McClellan was elected to the House of Delegates, and worked closely with her for decades.

Kaine’s endorsement marks McClellan’s fourth endorsement from the Virginia Congressional delegation, joining U.S. Reps. Gerry Connolly (D-11th), Don Beyer (D-8th) and Jennifer Wexton (D-10th).

“I’m proud to have the support of Richmond’s own U.S. Senator Tim Kaine in this critical campaign for Congress” said McClellan. “I’m proud to have worked with Senator Kaine on critical issues over the past 17 years, and I look forward to continuing to work with him in the U.S. Congress as we do our best to continue the life’s work of our late friend, Rep. Donald McEachin. Senator Kaine’s endorsement adds to the growing momentum behind this historic campaign.”

In his endorsement, Kaine emphasized Sen. McClellan’s record of delivering results for the people of Virginia, her passion for serving her constituents, and the historic nature of her candidacy for congress:

“I am proud to endorse Jenn McClellan for Congress in the upcoming special election for the Virginia 4th Congressional District,” Kaine said. “I have been a mentor to Jenn since before she ran for her first political office. She has represented me as a Delegate and State Senator and done so with passion and distinction. I officiated at her wedding to Dave and have watched her balance the roles of legislator, lawyer, wife, and mother with grace.

“Jenn is a proud Democrat who will work to find common cause with any colleague. Her intellect and team-building skills make her a consummate legislator, able to forge coalitions to accomplish policy wins that serve her constituents and Commonwealth. Jenn is a woman of admirable civility with a backbone of steel on matters of principle. She is a warm and accessible person who draws others to her because of a sensitive ear and a compassionate heart.

“I am excited by the notion that Jenn would be the first African-American woman representing Virginia in Congress. I have seen over my nearly 30 years in politics that old attitudes and double standards still make it harder for women to succeed in this line of work. That’s why, in a nation where more than half of all voters are women, only 27% of the membership of Congress are women. We can advance progress for Virginia and the nation by electing Jenn.

“The loss of Donald McEachin, a friend of nearly 40 years and my own Congressman, still fills me with sadness. I said when he passed that he would not have a replacement—because there is no replacing him—but that I hoped he would have a worthy successor. I believe Jenn McClellan is that person.”

McClellan rolled out a list of 50 endorsements with her announcement, including 3 sitting members of Congress from Virginia who served alongside Rep. Donald McEachin, as well as numerous local elected officials and community leaders from the 4th Congressional District. The special election is set for February 21.


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