After releasing his first television ad of his U.S. Senate campaign in Virginia earlier this week, Democrat Tim Kaine unveiled an all-Spanish television ad Friday as part of a $250,000 buy of Spanish-language radio and television ads that will run from now until election day.
In the ad, titled “Valores,” Mr. Kaine, who is fluent in Spanish, speaks about the time he spent as a missionary in Honduras as well as his record as governor of Virginia.
“I will never forget my time living in Honduras … where I learned more about faith and family,” he says in Spanish. “Values I still appreciate today. As governor, I worked with the Hispanic community. I increased the attendance of children in prekindergarten. I also increased state contracts given to small businesses. As your senator, I will continue to invest in education and support immigration reform.”
Mr. Kaine and his opponent, Republican George Allen, are both lobbying heavily for votes from Virginia’s Hispanic community, which has almost doubled in the past 10 years and now comprises about 8 percent of the state’s population. Overall, the two candidates have been in a virtual dead heat for the entire campaign.
Mr. Allen, meanwhile, can count Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who is Cuban-American, as one of his more high-profile Latino supporters. The two campaigned together in Northern Virginia in June.
In response to the ad, the Allen campaign said Mr. Kaine is “story-telling for the votes of a Latino community disproportionately hit hard by the failed economic policies he championed.”
“While Virginia lost over 100,000 jobs, Tim Kaine diminished education by making ‘significant cuts’ to higher education that led to over a 30 percent increase in tuition,” said Allen spokeswoman Emily Davis. “Latino Americans deserve the opportunity to learn and find a job in an economy free from Tim Kaine’s threats of higher taxes and more regulations.”
The Republican Party of Virginia also said Mr. Kaine’s mentioning he cut his own pay as governor in his first term was “bad comedy,” pointing out that Mr. Allen cut his pay by 10 percent in all four years as governor and that Mr. Kaine’s predecessor, fellow Democrat Mark R. Warner, cut his own pay by 20 percent.
Mr. Kaine said he would cut his own pay by 5 percent in October 2007, nearly two years into his tenure, as part of a larger effort to deal with economic difficulties.