RICHMOND, Va. – Tim Kaine, the presumptive Democratic Vice President nominee, is one of the few politicians whose path has traveled, starting in 1994, from city council seat to mayor, on to governor and then U.S Senator. He also served as head of the Democratic National Committee for two years, starting in 2009, while he was still Virginia governor.
Kaine was considered one of the favorites to land on the Democratic ticket because of his moderate profile, executive experience, and foreign policy background. He received spirited backing from President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton, several Democrats close to the campaign said.
Democrats and political experts believe Kaine could help Clinton land independents in swing states, as well as help her capture the white male vote and the Hispanic vote.
The 58-year-old Kaine was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, received his bachelor`s degree from the University of Missouri, and his law degree from Harvard.
He and his wife, Anne Holton, a former juvenile court judge who is currently the Virginia Secretary of Education, have three children who are now all in their 20s. Anne is the daughter of former governor and social crusader Linwood Holton, from Big Stone Gap in the Appalachian Mountains.
Kaine clerked for the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals before he entered a private practice, and he also lectured at the University of Richmond. He practiced law for 17 years, specializing in plaintiffs who had been denied housing because of race or disability.
He took a year off during law school to do Catholic missionary work in Honduras, and he is fluent in Spanish.
As mayor, he was caught in some controversy over using public funds to send eight busloads of Richmonders to an anti-gun violence rally in Washington D.C. He later raised the funds privately and paid the city back.
While nearly all the mayors locally in the past generation have been African-Americans, Kaine was picked by a black-majority council to serve as mayor. That was in 1998 when Richmond was still reeling from its runaway murder rate. Kaine was part of the hardball Project Exile crew that put federal charges on gun-related violent crimes.
His commitment to gun control was forged in the wake of the Virginia Tech mass shooting, which then Governor Kaine called the worst day of his life. Called upon to help heal a grieving Commonwealth, Kaine became a national advocate for gun control.
As a senator, Kaine is one of only 35 given an “F” rating by the NRA, and he has not accepted campaign contributions from the NRA.
Kaine is a Catholic who privately opposes abortion, but has said he would not seek to overturn Roe v. Wade. Abortion rights groups were critical of his pledge as a gubernatorial candidate in 2005 to reduce unwanted pregnancies through adoption and abstinence, but as a senator those groups give him a perfect score.
On the Senate Armed Services committee, Kaine has long maintained that Congressional approval is necessary for the commitment of U.S. troops, particularly in response to the Civil War in Syria and strikes against ISIS.
He opposes capital punishment but oversaw executions as governor, including that of the D.C. sniper, John Allen Muhammed.
In 2005, Kaine opposed gay adoption, but by 2012 said judges should make case-by-case decisions. He came out in support of same-sex marriage in 2013.
Kaine has said he would consider raising the threshold of income subject to social security tax.
On a personal level, Kaine has long been known for a somewhat rumpled, down-to-earth demeanor, and is said to treasure his time at home in Richmond as a regular guy -- whether at a local coffee shop or diner. Sometimes he even shows off his musical talents at charity fundraisers.
On his visits to CBS 6 over the years, whether as a governor or U.S. senator, he is usually accompanied by a single aide, and always walks in the front door with little fanfare.
- 1987-1993 - Teaches legal ethics at the University of Richmond School of Law.
- 1994-1998 - Serves as city council member in Richmond, Virginia.
- 1998-2000 - Serves as mayor of Richmond.
- 2002-2006 - Serves as Lieutenant Governor of Virginia.
- January 14, 2006-January 15, 2010 - Serves as governor of Virginia.
- 2008 - Is rumored to be one of President Obama's picks for vice president.
- 2009-2011 - Serves as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
- January 3, 2013 - Sworn in as Senator of Virginia.
- June 11, 2013 - Delivers a speech in Spanish during a debate on the Senate's immigration bill. Kaine is the first senator to deliver a full speech on the senate floor in a language other than English.
- February 2015 - Co-sponsored the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act.
Overview of time in Senate:
- Troop Talent Act of 2013, was his first piece of legislation in the Senate. It established new standards to help active duty service members attain civilian credentials for military skills to assist their transition into the workforce.
- Introduced bipartisan legislation to revise the War Powers Resolution of 1973 and has pushed Congress to finally vote to authorize the ongoing U.S. military action against ISIL.
- Coauthored the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, establishing the process for congressional review of the diplomatic effort to block any Iranian nuclear weapons program.
- In 2014, founded bipartisan Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus, to help ensure students of all ages are prepared with the skills they need for the jobs of the 21st century.
- Introduced bill to recognize six Virginia Indian tribes.
- Championed successful legislation to encourage public secondary schools to teach students about how to prevent dating violence and sexual assault.
- Introduced legislation to increase access to life-saving overdose medication and prevent drug-related deaths.
- He is one of the Senate’s few members fluent in Spanish and serves as honorary chairman of the US-Spain Council.
- Introduced legislation to preserve the Commonwealth’s historic Civil War battlegrounds, which President Obama signed into law.
- He also worked to pass bipartisan legislation to expand pediatric cancer research at the National Institutes of Health.
- Has focused closely on climate change and its effects on Virginia, especially sea level rise and flooding. In 2014, he co-hosted a bipartisan conference that brought together policymakers, experts and regional stakeholders to discuss strategies to combat the threat that these challenges pose to Hampton Roads.
*** Reporting by Bill Fitzgerald, Mark Holmberg and the CNN wire contributed to this article.