The New York Times -
Democrat Wins Race for Governor in Virginia
After a lengthy introduction by Mr. Warner, who called the outcome a triumph against negative campaigning, Mr. Kaine told a raucous crowd at a downtown hotel that the results proved that Mr. Warner's victory four years ago was not a fluke.
"We proved that people are more interested in fiscal responsibility than ideological bickering," Mr. Kaine said. "We proved that faith in God is a value for all and that we can all share regardless of our partisan labels. And we proved that Virginians want a governor who has a positive vision for moving this commonwealth forward."
The comeback victory by Mr. Kaine, who trailed for much of the campaign, provided a big boost to Mr. Warner, who had anointed Mr. Kaine his successor and is considering running for president in 2008.
The Washington Post -
A Triumph For Warner, And a Guide For His Party
Virginia's quadrennial search for a governor featured neither charismatic personalities nor dominant policy initiatives. But Democrat Timothy M. Kaine's resounding victory over Republican Jerry W. Kilgore nonetheless provided important political lessons for the commonwealth, and maybe the country.
The outcome marked what feels like a dramatic strengthening of Democratic appeal in Northern Virginia, the state's richest and most populous region. It showed that Republicans can no longer depend simply on the power of their party to win statewide and demonstrated the dangers of a negative campaign. It presented an intriguing campaign model for Democrats, in which religious faith plays an important role. And most of all it demonstrated the appeal of Gov. Mark R. Warner (D), for whom this could become the first stop of a presidential campaign.
"The real asset that Kaine had was this rather astonishing popularity of Warner," said Merle Black, a professor who studies Southern politics at Emory University.
George Mason University professor Mark J. Rozell agreed. "I think to a large extent [the story] is the Warner influence," said Rozell, who has closely followed the race. "He created the circumstances for a Democrat to win in a Republican-leaning state in the South."
Virginia's Election of Kaine Lets Democrats Stand Up to Bush
At about 9:05 p.m., almost simultaneously, CBS, ABC and the Associated Press call the race for Kaine. His supporters press forward en masse to get closer to the screen, roaring ``Tim Kaine, Tim Kaine!'' They boo a live shot from the Kilgore campaign, then cheer when the newscaster says the mood there is downcast.
Bruce Springsteen's ``Born to Run,'' pumped up, begins to play. The younger Kaine backers dance. Amid the Kaine signs waving in the ballroom is a solitary hand-drawn sign saying ``Warner in 2008.''
``I want Mark Warner to be our next president,'' says Charles Goin, 38, an engineer from Richmond, waving his poster. ``You can't win the presidency without the South and what's more southern than Virginia? And we didn't just win, we clobbered Kilgore.''
USA Today -
Dems shut out GOP in 2 closely watched races
Democrats scored victories in this year's two governor's races, keeping the seats in their party and denying Republicans a measure of comfort in a tough year.
Democrat Tim Kaine rode Virginia Gov. Mark Warner's soaring popularity to success over Republican Jerry Kilgore, adding cachet to Warner's expected 2008 presidential bid. Virginians generally vote Re-publican for president — they gave President Bush a 9-percentage-point victory last year — but for the eighth time in a row, they chose a governor from the party that doesn't hold the White House.
Democrats win Virginia, New Jersey races
Kaine, Virginia's lieutenant governor, had fashioned his campaign around the theme of continuing the state's economic growth, which he said was fostered by incumbent Democratic Gov. Mark Warner, a man with 2008 presidential ambitions.
The victory was buoyant news for Warner, who campaigned far and wide across the state for the 47-year-old Kaine.
Standing side-by-side with Warner at his victory celebration in Richmond Tuesday night, the governor-elect alluded to Warner's presidential ambitions. "I'm looking forward to standing next to you at your next victory party."