Virginia Gov.-elect Timothy M. Kaine (D) and the incoming lieutenant governor, Bill Bolling (R), met Tuesday and pledged to work together during the next four years despite partisan and philosophical differences.
Kaine vowed to have a "productive and civil relationship" with Bolling and said he expected to find common ground on such issues as long-term health care, the environment and transportation.
"This is the team the voters have put in place, and we will do our best to make it productive," Kaine said after a private meeting between the two men. Kaine, who as lieutenant governor for the past four years presided over the Republican-controlled state Senate, said he gave Bolling some friendly advice.
"I congratulated him on his win," Kaine told reporters.
Bolling, a conservative Republican who has made it clear he intends to run for governor in 2009, pledged to preside over the Senate with an even hand.
"My rulings . . . are going to be based on what proper parliamentary rulings would be," he promised.
Kaine campaigned against Republican Jerry W. Kilgore by invoking the popularity of Gov. Mark R. Warner (D) and claiming to have been a key player in what he called the "Warner-Kaine administration." In that case, both men were members of the same party.
But Virginia's political system provides voters a chance to elect candidates of different parties to the two top jobs, and often they do. Democratic Lt. Gov. Donald S. Beyer Jr. served for four years under Republican Gov. George Allen.
Kaine said he will not be inviting Bolling to sit in on his Cabinet meetings, as at least one Virginia governor did with a lieutenant governor of another party. But he said he will instruct officials to talk frequently with Bolling and to make sure he is kept up-to-date on issues of homeland security.
"I have no doubt we are going to have a relationship marked by a lot of communication," Kaine said.
Kaine and Bolling stressed their similarities, but the two men have often expressed divergent views on the major issues facing the state.
In 2004, Kaine was supportive of efforts by Warner and the Republican leaders in the state Senate to raise taxes. Bolling, by contrast, was outspoken against the tax increases, calling them unnecessary. He repeated that position during Tuesday's news conference.
"I have made it clear that I don't believe it's necessary to raise taxes," Bolling said, adding that he expected tax increase proposals to "be on the table" during the legislative session that begins next month.
Kaine said he hopes to work with Bolling, a health insurance executive, to enact Medicaid reform during his tenure. And he noted that both men have talked about the need to guarantee that taxes raised for spending on transportation are not diverted to other uses.
With all the talk of agreement, Kaine was asked whether he would begin referring to the "Kaine-Bolling" administration.
"I only began using the term 'Warner-Kaine administration' after I had stood with Governor Warner and supported him on very huge and challenging initiatives," Kaine said. "If the lieutenant governor does the same for the first few years, you may very well see me talking about a Kaine-Bolling administration."