Virginia paper backs Kaine over Trump ally Corey Stewart

The Richmond Times-Dispatch on Saturday opted to endorse incumbent Sen. Tim Kaine (D) over his Republican challenger Corey Stewart in the Virginia Senate race.

The Times-Dispatch's editorial board, which has historically leaned conservative, said that Kaine "remains a voice of reason" in "a world gone nearly mad."

"He's not always right but he is - except when running for vice president - almost always knowledgeable, persuasive, and respectful," the editorial board wrote

"He listens, a skill not mastered by all of his colleagues in the Senate," it added.

Kaine has held a double-digit lead in recent polls over Stewart, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors chairman who has the backing President Trump.

The Times-Dispatch on Saturday praised Kaine as a "fierce partisan" whose temperament could "make him a leader if Washington ever decides to conduct an experiment in expanding bipartisan compromise."

The editorial board also hailed Kaine, who served as Hillary Clinton's running mate for her 2016 White House bid, as a "natural-born legislator who seems to revel in the essential details of public policy creation."

"He is conversant in the art of the pretty good deal. We'd like to see him deploy his exceptionalism more aggressively in pursuit of a less imperfect union, especially in Congress," the newspaper added.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch said the senator has displayed the necessary skills in "his dogged pursuit of reforms to the most important process conducted by any national government - deciding when and if the country should go to war."

"Kaine has served for nearly a quarter of a century as a Richmond city councilman and mayor, as lieutenant governor and governor, and since 2013 as a United States senator," the editorial board concluded. "We are happy to endorse his re-election. He has earned the trust of his constituents."

The Virginia newspaper's endorsement marks the first time in decades the publication has backed a Democrat for statewide office, according to its website.