Kaine Makes Campaign Stop in Data Center Alley

Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) launched his reelection campaign with a tour across the state this week, including a stop for a jobs roundtable at RagingWire Data Centers’ newest facility, VA3, in Ashburn.

“The theme of my campaign is a Virginia that works for all,” Kaine said. “And the pillars of the campaign are jobs for all, healthcare for all, education for all, security for all, equality for all.”

The conversation at the heart of one of the Loudoun’s newest and most advanced data center steered strongly toward jobs and education. Kaine said when he joined the Senate Committee on Health, Education and Labor, there was little attention paid to career and technical education. That, he said, affects even high-tech, highly-educated sectors like data centers—such as RagingWire’s VA3, which when filled out with server racks will use about 16 megawatts of power, or enough to power about 4,000 homes.

“These data centers are pretty dependent on electricians,” Kaine said. He added the country has “done a disservice to young people by telling them it’s got to be about college.”

“The power of career and technical training is really important, and we have to raise the respect level and even the incentivization,” Kaine said.

Kaine’s wife, Anne Holton, a former state Secretary of Education and a current member of the state Board of Education, called on the business leaders in the room to help train young people to do the jobs those businesses need done.

“We’re giving them more flexibility, but also higher expectations that they’re not going to be able to meet without effective partnerships with the business community,” Holton said, suggesting business leaders get involved in education and offering partnerships and internships.

Kaine also stressed the need for need for infrastructure investment, pointing it out as an area where the two parties may be able to work together. However he was skeptical of public-private partnerships that lean too heavily on the private sector.

“If the feds do not choose to invest heavily, we’re not going to have the kind of infrastructure we need,” Kaine said. “That is important not only to our businesses, but it’s also important to your quality of life.”

And he tied immigration policy to jobs, arguing immigration “is about fairness, but is also heavily about the economy.”

He also faced questions form a capacity crowd in the meeting room about education, utility-scale renewable energy, and President Donald J. Trump’s trade war with China. He argued it would severely impact the industries relying on the products that are now facing higher tariffs—including, among others, Virginia’s largest business sector, agriculture and forestry.

“It’s going to blast the ag and forestry sector in Virginia,” Kaine said.

As a county with several of the state’s biggest business sectors—like agriculture, aerospace, and technology—could be particularly impacted. Wine, he pointed out, is one of the products that will face Chinese tariffs.

“If you put obstacles in the way of trade, a state that is probably dramatically better than the norm in finding opportunities overseas, we’re going to be disproportionately hit,” Kaine said.

Kaine was joined by Leesburg native and state Attorney General Mark Herring, who said with global competition, “if we are standing still, we’re falling behind.”

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring took questions at a jobs roundtable at RagingWire Data Centers’s newest facility, VA3, in the heart of Loudoun’s data center alley. (Renss Greene/Loudoun Now)

“Unfortunately, sometimes making improvements and fighting for things like education and healthcare and meeting the transportation needs, sometimes means—and lately it seems more often—trying to fight off some counterproductive ideas that are coming out of the White House or the Congress,” Herring said. He has been among a number of state attorneys general who have taken the Trump administration to court over several policies.

Republicans are still sorting out a challenger for Kaine in November. So far, Prince William County Chairman and former Trump campaigner Corey Stewart, minister E.W. Jackson, and Army veteran and state delegate Nicholas J. Freitas (R-30) have thrown their hats in the ring.

rgreene@loudounnow.com
@RenssGreene

3 thoughts on “Kaine Makes Campaign Stop in Data Center Alley

  • 2018-04-07 at 8:00 am
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    We can win by subtracting Kaine from the senate and make it a double victory by adding Stewart. Kaine is not a solutions guy he is a party first guy. He is a United States senator which would lead you to believe he would do what is best for the country but then the democrat party rears it’s head and plop goes the progress. He whines about the Presidents tariffs but if Kaine would of kept the field level Trump would not of had to fix our trade imbalance. Despite his aw shucks demeanor Kaine is not a good Senator he was a poor governor and thankfully a failed vice president candidate.

  • 2018-04-07 at 11:32 am
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    “And the pillars of the campaign are jobs for all, healthcare for all, education for all, security for all, equality for all.”

    Translation: “Blah blah bah blah blah, I’ll say anything, promise anything to get re-elected. I’m one of the most ineffective, yes men, senators in Virginia history, blah blah blah, and I don’t really care about you people, but hopefully you’ll all fall for my hokey campaign slogans blah blah blah.”

  • 2018-04-09 at 5:27 am
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    There is 210 days until the election we are paying Kaine almost 500 dollars a day as our Senator. Over 100k dollars between now and the election and we the taxpayer get tired old progressive soundbites. You would think he has pressing issues that require his attention. We are in essence paying him to raise money he pays no taxes on to run for re-election. I’ll take the bait, name 5 top accomplishments by Senator Kaine…..waiting?

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