Clinton chooses Sen. Tim Kaine as running mate

In this July 14, 2016, file photo, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, accompanied by Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., speaks at a rally at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Va. Clinton has chosen Kaine to be her running mate (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Hillary Clinton says in a text message to supporters that she’s picked Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine to join her on the Democratic ticket as their party’s nominee for vice president.

In the message, Clinton says: “I’m thrilled to tell you this first: I’ve chosen Sen. Tim Kaine as my running mate.”

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine waves to the crowd before attending a private fundraiser event in Newport, RI hosted by fellow Democratic Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island. (Bob Breidenbach /Providence Journal via AP)
Virginia Senator Tim Kaine waves to the crowd before attending a private fundraiser event in Newport, RI hosted by fellow Democratic Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island. (Bob Breidenbach /Providence Journal via AP)

Kaine is expected to join Clinton at a rally in Florida on Saturday.

A favorite since the start of Clinton’s search for a running mate, Kaine is a former governor of the battleground state and former mayor of Richmond.

Kaine won election to the Senate four years ago after serving as the chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Clinton is choosing Kaine from a group that included Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

She was expected to announce her pick at a rally in Friday but did not.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton carries a bouquet of flowers as she visits a memorial outside of the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Friday, July 22, 2016, which was the site of the June 12 massacre. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton carries a bouquet of flowers as she visits a memorial outside of the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Friday, July 22, 2016, which was the site of the June 12 massacre. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

At that rally in Florida, she called the Republican convention “perversely flattering,” saying the speakers spent more time talking about her than the problems facing the country.

“I never thought I’d say these words but Ted Cruz was right,” Clinton said. “In this election, do the right thing and vote your conscience.”

Cruz refused to endorse Trump during his remarks at the convention Wednesday, prompting boos and jeers from the Republican crowd.

Clinton says Trump’s convention address offered a “dark and divisive” vision of the future. Her GOP opponent, she says, offered “fear and anger and resentment” but few solutions to the problems he highlighted in his Thursday evening speech.

“He doesn’t speak for anyone who thinks our country should be standing together,” she says.

The comments mark Clinton’s first extended remarks on the GOP convention.

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