On June 4, Virginia’s Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli met with business and community leaders at the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce. Cuccinelli, a Republican, is running for Virginia Governor in 2013. Cuccinelli spoke to a group of 30 and then took questions. He discussed his upbringing, community service, career highlights and family. “I love Virginia and I’m vested in Virginia myself,” he said.
Cuccinelli addressed the region’s assets, like the Port of Virginia and the military installations. Comparing the transportation issues of northern Virginia to Hampton Roads, he agreed that both regions have challenges, but Hampton Roads has water. “It (water) presents new and expensive challenges that don’t exist in northern Virginia,” said Cuccinelli.
Regarding the public private partnership proposal for the Port, he said, “I was happy with the outcome of rejecting the proposals.” Cuccinelli explained that he has a high standard for the Port and said that we have to have confidence that every year, Virginia will do better under the proposal than without it. “It’s a high standard,” he added.
Regarding the campaign for Governor, Cuccinelli said, “State experience is unique to me.” He added, “Whoever you elect on November 5, will have two months to put an entire administration together and, more difficult, prepare a two-year budget.”
He said, “This campaign is focused first and foremost on job creation.” Cuccinelli has a “Economic Growth & Virginia Jobs Plan” that proposes to reduce the individual income tax rate from 5.75% to 5% and reduce business income tax from 6% to 4%.
Cuccinelli said, “In the next Governor’s term, we’re going to have a few years advantage with the widening of the Panama Canal over our competitors on the east coast. What I’m proposing, would allow us to double up.” He wants to leverage this time opportunity to bring internationally focused businesses to this region.
His energy strategy includes coal and offshore. “I have not said never to uranium mining,” he said. “If we’re going to mine it here, we have to be confident we can do it safely.”
Cuccinelli addressed education and said he wants to deliver parents with more control. “Education ought to be about each and every child.” He is concerned about the rising cost of higher education.
Cuccinelli has accepted the Chamber’s invitation to participate in a Gubernatorial debate this Fall.