State Politics

Tim Kaine VP pick draws praise, some criticism from NC Democrats

Tim Kaine accepts VP nomination - and works on Trump impersonation

irginia Sen. Tim Kaine formally accepted the nomination for vice president at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday. Hillary Clinton’s running mate energized the Philadelphia arena by speaking in Spanish and blasting Donald Trump's credi
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irginia Sen. Tim Kaine formally accepted the nomination for vice president at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday. Hillary Clinton’s running mate energized the Philadelphia arena by speaking in Spanish and blasting Donald Trump's credi

Not every member of the North Carolina delegation at the Democratic National Convention is a fan of Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine for vice president.

Kaine officially became Hillary Clinton’s running mate during a voice vote on the convention floor Wednesday. But some supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign said they’re disappointed in the pick.

“Tim Kaine is very establishment,” said Chris Gallagher Ekstedt, a Sanders delegate from High Point. “That was a blow.”

While the voice vote on Kaine’s nomination meant there was no formal vote count, some “no” votes could be heard from Sanders delegates. Some waved signs showing their opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal they oppose. Kaine initially supported the deal but now opposes it.

“He’s been pro-TPP, he’s been pro-deregulating Wall Street,” Ekstedt said.

But Kaine has plenty of fans among Clinton supporters in North Carolina. The Clinton campaign issued a news release Thursday afternoon with praise from eight well-known North Carolina Democrats, including former Gov. Jim Hunt, Attorney General Roy Cooper and U.S. Rep. David Price.

“On the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, Sen. Kaine has demonstrated thoughtful, steady leadership in confronting the threats posed by radical extremism and rogue actors on the international stage,” Price said in the news release. “This leadership – coupled with Hillary’s experience as secretary of state and as a senator – stand in stark contrast to the reckless and dangerously uninformed statements coming from the Trump campaign.”

Hunt called Kaine “the best candidate Hillary Clinton could have possibly chosen.” And state Democratic Party Chairwoman Patsy Keever said he’s a “bold progressive.”

But he’s not progressive enough for Joshua Brown, another Sanders delegate from High Point.

“If she (Clinton) could have found a way to convince Bernie Sanders to be vice president, that would have potentially locked it up for her,” Brown said. “If not Bernie, at least someone she knew would bring them back into the fold.”

Colin Campbell: 919-829-4698, @RaleighReporter

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