GOP candidate for Governor Ken Cuccinelli tells The American Bazaar of his deep roots in Virginia.
By Mariam Thomas
WASHINGTON, DC: Kenneth ‘Ken’ Cuccinelli, 44, the Attorney General of Virginia, is the Republican candidate for Governor of Virginia.
From 2002 until January 16, 2010 he was a Republican member of the Senate of Virginia, representing the 37th district in Fairfax County. Cuccinelli was elected Attorney General in the November 2009 general election. He holds degrees in engineering, law and commercial policy, and has co-founded a small law firm.
In an exclusive interview to The American Bazaar, Cuccinelli discusses his deep roots in the state he has grown up in, and served, and hopes to serve more, after the gubernatorial polls are over.
Excerpts from the interview:
In your recent interviews you have mentioned how, “attorneys general resign to run for governor.” So could you please tell us why, you were motivated to run for governor?
I have been in the state senate and I have been in the attorney general’s office for three and half years and I have learned an awful lot about Virginia, all of Virginia from both those positions. I have grown up here for most of my life, and I love Virginia. There is a lot more we can do to create jobs and create opportunities for those who are here and for those who are coming here.
Great. But concerning the Governor Bob McDonnell gifts scandal and even Rev. E.W. Jackson’s controversial statement regarding Planned Parenthood, how do you think it affects your campaign; what do you think of your chances?
I wouldn’t expect so because people in Virginia make independent decisions based on the individuals in front of them. We are classically an independent minded state and I expect that when Virginians have the opportunities to look at my experience in Virginia and my commitment to them as well as what we are offering in terms of a positive vision for job growth, and I really think that is what is going to dominate. You know, I don’t defend ticket mates’ statements and that is for them to do. And with respect to the Governor, I have done my job as Attorney General and I take my duty seriously and I think that the people of Virginia will respect that. We will stay focused on creating jobs and more opportunities, including educations for families in Virginia and hopefully pursue businesses that we can attract here.
You had mentioned recently at the round table discussion how your opponent Terry McAuliffe does have the upper hand in terms of his fundraising ability and star power; what do you think your advantages are?
Well he does, and he has been doing that professionally for over 30 years, but I grew up in Virginia, and I know it, I know its people. I have worked in a homeless shelter, and I have worked to prevent sexual assault here. I have worked with the veterans here, we have many veterans in Virginia, to help them get their benefits back after they have served and to help the mentally ill and their families to solve those problems. All of this was before I thought about running for office. I have a lot of roots in our communities and that is a big advantage. I have already mentioned that I already know Virginia government, and he really doesn’t. I’m the only candidate who doesn’t need on the job training.
I think you have mentioned in your book, “The Last Line of Defense,” you think that the government has overstepped its authority. However, with the Open Government Initiative, that Aneesh Chopra seems to be pushing for and you seem to be critical about, couldn’t it put a little bit more of a check on the government?
Well, first of all you need to be clear the federal government has over stepped its boundaries. For instance, we believed in the health care case and the Supreme Court has found that it did in several ways but it upheld the laws in tax. We sued the EPA with the Democrat Board of Supervisors and that was bi-partisan because they over stepped the boundaries in regulations they were opposing that would have cost Fairfax County tax payers and Virginia tax payers almost 300 million dollars.
The other lawsuit we have against the EPA is with Democrat co-plaintiffs. These are not partisan undertakings, but they are to enforce the law and to keep the federal government within the boundaries, and the laws enforced upon it. This helps us free up the economy and create opportunity in the private sector here in Virginia and that’s a big deal to Virginians right now and I will continue to protect Virginians from the federal overreach. The Federal government has a lot of power and we respect that but when they overstep those boundaries, we got to take care of the people in the Constitution and that’s what I have been doing as Attorney General and I will continue to do as Governor.
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