Anne Holton Has Been Key To Tim Kaine's Career

by Lani Seelinger

Bill Clinton has stepped into a pretty big role in this election season, but he's not the only spouse who's been out on the campaign trail. Tim Kaine's wife, Anne Holton, has been actively campaigning since her husband gained the vice presidential nomination, and she's become an important surrogate for both her husband and his running mate. Given the role she's played thus far and her tight relationship with her husband, we can almost take it as a given that she's at the vice presidential debate on Tuesday.

Holton grew up steeped in politics from a very young age, as she is the daughter of former Virginia governor A. Linwood Holton Jr. Her father was dedicated to improving his state in any way possible, which is part of why he sent Holton and her siblings to mostly-black schools as they were being desegregated.

But when Holton got older, she decided not to turn her back on her father's pursuit. She received her undergraduate degree in economics from Princeton before attending Harvard Law School, which is where she would meet her eventual husband. As brightly as Kaine's political star has shown, Holton has always been his equal. She spent many years as a lawyer working for less privileged families before becoming a district court judge in 1998.

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When Kaine became Virginia's governor in 2005, Holton had to resign as a judge so that she could be an active First Lady. She used this position to push for reform in the foster care system, focusing mainly on older children who were less likely to be adopted. Children and education have been her longstanding focus, so it makes perfect sense that she went on to become the Virgina Secretary of Education in 2014 — a position that she has since resigned from in order to campaign for her husband.

Given that record of public service and the dedication she has so far shown on the campaign trail, it is highly unlikely that she would leave her husband alone for his night in the spotlight. Since Clinton named Kaine as her running mate, Holton has spent countless hours traveling to speak all over the country — much like the candidates themselves. They also seem to have an Obama-like level of closeness with each other, so his successes are hers as well. As usual, we can expect to see her supporting her husband throughout before joining him on stage at the end.