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Who is Tim Kaine's Half-Million Dollar Man?

Tim Craig

Randal J. Kirk, a Radford businessman, has become Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's (D) half-million dollar man.

On Oct. 4, Kirk donated $250,000 to Kaine's political action committee, Moving Virginia Forward, that is trying to elect more Democrats to the General Assembly. Over the past two years, Kirk has contributed a total of $450,000 to the PAC, according to the State Board of Elections.

In 2005, Kirk also donated $100,000 to Kaine's campaign for governor. He gave another $100,000 to Kaine that year through one of his holding companies, according to the Roanoke Times.

Kirk is Senior Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Third Security, LLC, an investment management firm he founded in 1999. In July, Kaine reappointed Kirk to Radford University's governing board.

Kirk, who Forbes Magazine says is worth $1.6 billion, has emerged in recent years as one of the biggest donors to Democratic causes in Virginia. In July, Kirk contributed $200,000 to former governor Mark. R. Warner's PAC, One Virginia. Kirk also donated $100,000 to One Virginia in 2004, according to the Virginia Public Access Project, which tracks money in state politics.

But Kirk's affection for Democrats is a relatively recent occurrence. In 2001, Kirk donated $125,000 to Mark Earley's gubernatorial campaign. Kirk also donated $100,000 to former Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Jerry W. Kilgore (R) between 1999 and 2004.

So what caused Kirk to shift to the Democrats? It's not exactly clear, but Kirk apparently didn't think much of Kilgore's vocal criticism of Kaine's moral opposition to the death penalty. According to the Roanoke Times, Kirk said he is fiscal conservative but social moderate.

"If you believe the main thing the commonwealth needs to be doing to improve the plight of its people is to kill more people, then by all means you should vote for Jerry," he told the newspaper in 2005.

By Tim Craig  |  October 16, 2007; 3:13 PM ET
Categories:  General Assembly 2008 , Tim Craig , Timothy M. Kaine  
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