By ANDREW FAISON/CORRESPONDENT, THE TIDEWATER NEWS
FRANKLIN—Anne Holton, wife of U.S. Senatorial candidate Tim Kaine, during a Tuesday campaign stop in Franklin shared her husband’s strategies for improving education.
Holton spoke about Kaine’s efforts during a visit to Paul D. Camp Community College on her continued tour of community colleges and universities across Virginia.
Virginia’s governor from 2006 to 2010, Kaine is running against Rep. George Allen in what’s said to be one of the hottest senate races in the country for the Nov. 6 election. The winner will replace Democrat Jim Webb, who chose not to run for re-election.
A former judge in Richmond, Holton spoke about her husband’s efforts to improve the science, technology, engineering and math curriculum; career and technical education; and workforce training. She said he worked hard to strengthen the community college system, focusing on the career-technical options, such as the nursing program and workforce development at Paul D. Camp.
“It is great to see the fruition of his hard work,” Holton said.
She was pleased to see how PDCCC was connected to the community from the workforce center to collaborating over sports fields and nursing programs.
“They’re solving the local nursing shortage by growing their own here, so it was a treat to see all of that,” Holton said.
While touring the campus, Joe Edenfield, vice president of financial and administrative services, informed Holton about the competitiveness of the nursing program.
“They are an impressive group of students,” said Holton. “These were first-year nursing students, the majority are parents, the majority are working, a number of them older not fresh out of high school, and they’re in here learning how to fill a needed niche in the economy, and earn a degree where they can help take care of their families.”
“It’s fun to see students who have so much on the line and are doing something practical and important for themselves and the community,” she continued.
The daughter of former Virginia Gov. Linwood Holton, she is excited to be a part of her husband’s campaign for the first time. She was not allowed to do so as a judge, a job she left after Kaine, a Democrat, was elected governor.
“I’m very excited to be on the trail, helping promote his message,” she said. “Tim thinks that we just so desperately need people who are willing to reach across (political parties) and work with everybody, to get things done in Washington. He’s done that all of his political career and is ready to do that now in the U.S. Senate.”
Holton said there’s an awful lot at stake for this election.
“We desperately need people in Washington who can help people figure out how to work together and break through the gridlock and help build our economy and Tim can do that,” she said.