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Undeterred by polls, Cuccinelli aims for Election Day surprise

By Joe Dashiell, jdashiell@wdbj7.com
Published On: Oct 30 2013 07:30:03 PM EDT
Updated On: Oct 31 2013 06:00:00 PM EDT

Some new polls suggest Democrat Terry McAuliffe is widening his lead over Republican Ken Cuccinelli in the race for Governor. But a candidate who has made his political career fighting the conventional wisdom says he has another surprise in store on Election Day.

ROANOKE, Va. -

Packed into a small campaign office with North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and a crowd of Roanoke Valley Republicans, Ken Cuccinelli was preaching to the choir, sharing an anti-Washington message he hopes will help turn the tide in the race for governor.

"Let me hit one more issue and it is a rising issue," Cuccinelli told the crowd of supporters. "It is coming fast and hard and it's Obamacare," he said as the audience booed.

But two years into the campaign, and just days to go until the election, he's facing an uphill fight.

"I've been down before," Cuccinelli told us in an interview. "And I've won each time. So we have a better ground game than the other side."

Born in Edison, New Jersey, Ken Cuccinelli moved to northern Virginia with his family when he was 2 years old.

An attorney, he served in the State Senate for over 7 years before he was elected Virginia Attorney General in 2009.

He and his wife Tiero live in Prince William County with five daughters and two sons.

Cuccinelli has raised almost $20 million in his bid for the Governor's office, but Terry McAuliffe has pulled in 14 million more, and the lopsided advantage has taken its toll.

"So people need to understand that my opponent is playing scare tactics," Cuccinelli said. "And in fact, in a lot of ads he's lying. And that's unfortunate. I wish it weren't true, but it is true. I've always protected families and I've always protected life, but you're seeing ads on things like contraception and divorce that are just false. And I think that's very unfortunate. I think it pollutes the discussion."

And while his opponents say Cuccinelli's plan for a $1.4 billion tax cut would blow a huge hole in the state budget, Cuccinelli says he has the experience and the specific plans to move Virginia forward.

"My opponent has repeatedly demonstrated that he doesn't know how Virginia government works and that's not something you learn by just winning an election," Cuccinelli said. "I've been involved for over 10 years, and I've done my homework, I've read the bills here in Virginia and I've learned an awful lot about every part of Virginia including right here in Roanoke and southwest and that experience is critically important. "

WDBJ7 will profile the campaign of Democrat Terry McAuliffe on Thursday, and Libertarian Robert Sarvis on Friday.