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VP Candidate's Wife Campaigns In Pensacola

Dianne Krumel

While few people expect Hillary Clinton to win Escambia County or most other areas of the panhandle, as one campaign operative said, "a vote in Pensacola counts just as much as a vote in Miami". That’s why Anne Holton, the wife of vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine, appeared in Pensacola for a pair of appearances on Monday. She spoke about the concerns of veterans and their families. "Hillary is very, very committed to getting the V.A. fixed and working right. And I think that's the most important issue for vets. We don't want to privatize the V.A., but we do want to make it work well for everybody and we've got a ways to go on that."

She also spoke about the VA’s Choice program, which allows some vets to see private doctors. "Some of the initial experience with that law has been, uh, inconsistent in its implementation shall we say. it's worked better in some areas than in others. So we've got to make it work right."

Holton is a military mom, whose son Nat is currently serving in the Marines. She says the concerns of military families are important to the Democratic nominees. She says they want to help with family needs when it comes to military transfers. "Hillary has some very string proposals I'm excited about as a mom, to help support military families by supporting military spouses' careers. helping spouses transfer in  with credentialing issues to jobs that require state based credentials." 

Anne Holton has been around politics most of her life. She’s the daughter of Linwood Holton, who served as Governor of Virginia and later in the Nixon administration. After marrying Tim Kaine, she became the first person to live in the Virginia governor’s mansion as a child and again as first lady. Recently she served as the Virginia Secretary of Education. She says she remembers when politics was a kinder, gentler occupation. "My dad (A. Linwood Holton) was a Republican governor (of Virginia) when I was a kid. Dad ran against a fellow, a Democrat named Bill Battle for governor in 1969. They were friends before that. They were friends after that. Recently, Bill Battle's widow asked my father to deliver the eulogy at his funeral. So, we do get it that people can work together across political barriers to get things done. And the truth is both Hillary and Tim have done that. One of the secret facts is that we do have lots of folks in elected office who understand that we have to work together to get things done and people do it every day. It's just not as flashy when you get things done that way. But Hillary, when she was in the senate, worked with Republican colleagues to improve spouses benefits for military spouses, to improve health care benefits for military members successfully." 

With the possibility of the United States electing the first woman as president, Holton says women’s issues will be getting a lot of attention. "In the last year of (Hillary Clinton's) first term, she will preside over the 100th anniversary of women's right to vote. We need her in that spot at that time." Holton says women's issues are also family issues, citing Clinton's proposals for family leave, sick leave and the minimum wage. "Her proposals on the minimum wage impact (women). 60 plus percent of minimum wage workers are women."

The bottom line message she had was no matter if you agree or disagree with her, she hopes you’ll get out and vote. "Democracy works when people participate. If you're not sure if you're registered at your current address you can go on I Will Vote Dot Com and check. And if you're not registered or if you need to change anything, you can do it last minute if you get in by tomorrow (Tuesday, October 18). And then early voting starts, in person early voting starts next week."

Anne Holton, the wife of Democratic Vice-Presidential nominee Tim Kaine spent Sunday and Monday campaigning in the Florida panhandle. She appeared in Pensacola Monday morning at So Gourmet on Palafox Street and at the Hillary for President Headquarters on Pace Boulevard. 

Bob Barrett has been a radio broadcaster since the mid 1970s and has worked at stations from northern New York to south Florida and, oddly, has been able to make a living that way. He began work in public radio in 2001. Over the years he has produced nationally syndicated programs such as The Environment Show and The Health Show for Northeast Public Radio's National Productions.