Kaine visits Waynesboro, learns about local business community

First in a series

Former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine learned a lot on his April 14 walking tour of Downtown Waynesboro.

Kaine, a Democrat, met with groups of business owners and city leaders Saturday morning before speaking to a group of 60 local voters about the state of the 2012 U.S. Senate race.

Augusta Free Press walked every step of the tour with Kaine, whose stops included the renovations at the historic Wayne Theatre, the already completed work at the Waynesboro Heritage Museum and tech-focused businesses Blue Moon Galleries, Augusta Free Press LLC, the parent company of the AFP local-news site, and the nonprofit Waynesboro Area Learning Tree, which provides hands-on technology instruction to teens and adults looking for a leg up in the 21st century talent economy that the former governor is staking his economic plans on.

Kaine left impressed with what he saw on his walking tour.

“Just hearing the description of the kinds of skills that people need, whether they’re students or whether they’re displaced workers who are trying to get new skills, technology is now such a fundmental part of everything that’s done that more focus on technology skills for all age ranges, from pre-kindergarteners to seniors, is a very, very important priority,” said Kaine, who does not face opposition for the Democratic Party nomination.

Likely Republican nominee George Allen does have a four-candidate primary on June 12 as a hurdle to clear before he can focus on the fall campaign.

Kaine is using his spring to get up to speed on what business owners across the Commonwealth are doing to get the economy moving forward again. He pledged continued support for funding for programs assisting small businesses like the ones that he visited in Downtown Waynesboro.

“As we’re wrestling with draconian proposals to cut the federal budget, that would end threatening programs that are being used by Waynesboro productively. I certainly got a lot of friendly lobbying to, Hey, be careful up there. Cuts have to be made, but make them the right way, not the wrong way,” Kaine said.

This week, Augusta Free Press will present detailed coverage of the stops that Kaine made on his visit and the issues presented by business owners to the Senate candidate along the way. Check back throughout the week for updates.


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