Best Local Politician

Readers' Pick

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine

Second Place: U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor

Third Place: Delegate Jennifer McClellan

The eyebrows. That smile. Those soft, understanding eyes. U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, former Richmond mayor and Virginia governor, seems to make the city swoon. Heck, for his official gubernatorial portrait in the Capitol, he shed the suit jacket, leaned against a tree and basked in the soft light down on a river bank. He also represents Virginia in a way that makes progressive types proud. His stint as chairman of the Democratic National Committee gave him a national profile. And in the Senate, he made history when he gave the first Spanish-language speech from the floor. On the other side of the aisle, Rep. Eric Cantor is an unflappable Henrico institution who's risen to House majority leader. Delegate Jennifer McClellan, a Richmond Democrat, has seen her profile rise — and it may get a boost if Hillary Clinton — backed in a high-profile way by McClellan the last time around, runs for president in 2016.

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Previously in Best of Richmond