March 30, 2012 - 5:04 pm

BY WESLEY P. HESTER

Former Gov. Timothy M. Kaine is the Democratic nominee for the state’s U.S. Senate race.

The Democratic Party of Virginia on Friday informed the Virginia State Board of Elections that Kaine has been certified as the nominee for the Nov. 6 election.

“Virginians could not ask for a better leader to represent them in the U.S. Senate, and Democrats could not ask for a better candidate to lead us to victory this November,” said party chairman Brian Moran.

Two other Democrats, Julien Modica and Courtney Lynch, had initially announced their candidacy but bowed out before petitions were due Thursday, endorsing Kaine.

Anne Holton, Kaine’s wife, earlier this week delivered 30,866 petitions to the State Board of Elections, more than tripling the number (10,000) required to qualify.

The Republican Party of Virginia, meanwhile, is still determining how many candidates will appear on the June 12 primary ballot.  

Thus far, former Gov. George Allen, Chesterfield tea party activist Jamie Radtke and state Del. Robert G. Marshall have all qualified.

The party is still in the process of verifying the 11,188 signatures submitted yesterday by Chesapeake minister E.W. Jackson.

“The Democratic Party of Virginia has already begun laying the groundwork for the largest grassroots campaign effort in Virginia history,” Moran said, “and we are eager to do everything we can to support Governor Kaine and make sure he is victorious over whichever Republican candidate emerges from their divisive primary battle.”