Tim Kaine wins re-election in Virginia Senate race
Sen. Tim Kaine won a second term in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, turning aside a challenge from Republican Corey Stewart in Virginia.
Mr. Kaine, a former Virginia governor and the Democrats’ 2016 vice presidential nominee, had been running well ahead of Mr. Stewart in public polling and had amassed more than $21 million for his re-election campaign. Libertarian Matt Waters was also in the race.
The Associated Press called the race for Mr. Kaine at 7:52 p.m. after the polls closed in the state at 7 p.m. With more than 70 percent of precincts reporting, Mr. Kaine led Mr. Stewart by a 54 percent to 44 percent margin.
“THANK YOU, VIRGINIA!” Mr. Kaine said on Twitter shortly after the call.
“In the Senate, I’ll always listen to you,” he said. “I’ll take your ideas and values to Washington, and keep fighting to solve your problems. We have to keep Virginia moving forward and put our country back on the right track. That starts now!”
Mr. Kaine’s campaign theme was “a Virginia that works for all,” and got a last-minute boost this week from President Obama.
Mr. Kaine was an early supporter of Mr. Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, and served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee for part of Mr. Obama’s first term before stepping down in 2011 to run for Senate.
With Virginia trending bluer since Mr. Obama first carried the state in 2008, national Democrats and Republicans paid more attention this year to Senate races in states President Trump carried in 2016 like West Virginia, Montana, and Florida.
Mr. Stewart, chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, had nevertheless tried to embrace the pro-Trump mantle and said voters could count on him to stir things up in the Senate.
Mr. Stewart made illegal immigration one of his key issues after he helped pass a strict crackdown in his county in 2007. He also made defending Confederate monuments in Virginia a key part of his message, picking up that theme from his unsuccessful run for governor last year.