WINA, a Richmond, Va., radio station, is reporting that former Gov. Tim Kaine plans to run for the U.S. Senate:
A University of Richmond student has been told that former governor Tim Kaine has said he WILL run for the U.S. Senate. A caller named Greg phoned the Schilling Show on Newsradio 1070 WINA early Monday afternoon and said he has two friends taking the class that Kaine teaches at the UR Jepson School. Kaine reportedly told the class that he will seek the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate seat being left vacant by Jim Webb. Greg says his friends told him that Kaine acknowledged that he has yet to make an official announcement, but he did tell the class that he is running. Kaine teaches the leadership class every Monday at the the Jepson School.
This latest report only adds to speculation that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairman has plans to seek federal office.
The word of Kaine's apparent announcement spread via Twitter and had many Democratic strategists caught off guard. "I really don’t know, I’m looking into it," Virginia Democratic Party chair Brian Moran told Politico. “I’d have to assume that a student is drawing some conclusions.”
By Monday afternoon, the DNC had issued a statement only partially rolling back the rumors:
“In response to a student’s question, Governor Kaine told his law school class today what is already widely known which is that he is increasingly likely to run. However, no final decision will be made or announced until the governor has had a final round of consultations with folks about how he can best serve the President, the people and the causes he cares about; he is assured that the Democratic Party will be in good hands should he choose to make the race and leave the DNC; he has the support that would be necessary to mount a successful campaign and he completes commitments for travel and fundraising he has made to the Party and the President through at least the end of the month.”
"He is increasingly likely to run and shared that with his students. But he made no definitive announcement, and there is no final decision yet,"a source close to Kaine told Politico.
If he threw his hat into the race, Kaine would run to replace Democratic first-term incumbent Jim Webb who has already announced plans to step down.
Former Republican Gov. and U.S. Sen. George Allen has also announced plans to run for the seat and tea party candidate Jamie Radtke plans to challenge Allen for the GOP's nomination.