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2013 Gubernatorial Election Preview


By Nathan Britt

2013 Republican presumptive nominee for Governor, Ken Cuccinelli campaigned for the 2012 nominee of Paul Ryan.

The 2013 Gubernatorial election is shaping up to be quite the contentious election. Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and former Democratic National Committee Terry McAuliffe are going to be locked in the premier political battle of 2013. It is the archetype of a left-right political standoff.

Cuccinelli is a Tea Party backed ultra-conservative who presented the primary constitutional challenge to the Affordable Healthcare Act. He is strongly disliked by moderates and leftists alike but extremely well regarded in conservative circles.

McAuliffe is a staple of the Clinton machine who headed the DNC between 2001-2005. He also ran for governor in the Democratic primary against Creigh Deeds in 2009. He has tremendous fundraising potential but is not well liked by most moderate Republicans or Democrats.

An Independent run by Republican Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling was in the realm of possibility until just recently. Bolling released a statement in which he appeared reluctant to split with the party and wary of fundraising difficulties. Bolling expressed an interest in an independent run after it was announced that the Republican primary would be conducted in a convention, a serious disadvantage to Bolling. Bolling would have added a moderate voice in a polarized election.

The governor’s race being one of the only high profile elections in 2013 and probably the most contentious, a politically weary Virginia is in for it again. The national organizations have already mobilized for partisan warfare in the Commonwealth.

While the race is already well underway, the traditional start of statewide elections in Virginia will be on April 17 in Wakefield, VA, just a short drive down route 460, with the Shad Planking, an event put on by the Wakefield Ruritan Club that has attracted the big names in Virginia politics for many years. This year’s main speaker is Cuccinelli. All the candidates will start their main push for votes then.

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