The fight for the next governor of Virginia comes to an end on Tuesday, Nov. 5.
To help make sense of all the campaign ads, debates and promises, the CT has broken down the platforms of the three candidates competing in the gubernatorial election, so you’re ready for Election Day.
Ken Cuccinelli (Republican)
Cuccinelli has been the attorney general of Virginia since 2009. He also served as a state Senator, representing a district in Fairfax County, from 2002 until his term as attorney general.
As attorney general, Cuccinelli earned national recognition for taking an active role in efforts to repeal the Affordable Healthcare Act. He also enforced antitrust legislation and campaigned hard against cyberbullying and sex trafficking.
Prior to his career of public service, Cuccinelli earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Virginia and a law degree from George Mason University. He also co-founded and operated a law firm.
Campaigning under the motto “Fighting for Virginia, Fighting for You,” Cuccinelli’s platform is geared heavily toward job growth. His plans on supporting manufacturing and small businesses, taking measures like simplifying regulations and cutting taxes.
He is also focused on energy policy, supporting both offshore drilling and more nuclear plants in the state.
Cuccinelli considers himself a devout Catholic, and has been a vocal supporter of both pro-life policies and traditional marriage for years. He opposed abortion, same -sex marriage and universities extending discrimination protection toward the LGBT community.
His education policy supports school choice and a heightened focus on STEM, or science, technology, engineering and mathematics education.
Terry McAuliffe (Democrat)
McAuliffe is running for public office for the first time. In addition to being a major fundraiser and former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, he served in the boardrooms of a handful of major banks and corporations, including Federal City National Bank in Washington, D.C.
He was also co-chairman of former President Bill Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign and was chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign.
McAuliffe successfully ran for the Democratic nomination for governor of Virginia in 2009 but was defeated in the primaries. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the Catholic University of America and a law degree from Georgetown University.
McAuliffe’s motto, “Putting Jobs First,” emphasizes job growth across the state. He plans to do this by eliminating several business taxes and expanding Virginia’s transportation infrastructure.
McAuliffe supports the implementation of the Affordable Healthcare Act in Virginia, and wants to expand both Medicare and the state mental health system. His education plans include workforce development and the DREAM Act, which would give permanent residency to children of immigrants.
While pro-choice, McAuliffe said he will not alter current state law regulating abortion.
Originally against both coal and offshore drilling, McAuliffe has spoken out in favor of both since he received the democratic nomination. On the campaign, McAuliffe said he supports LGBT rights. In the past, he was a vocal supporter of the Defense of Marriage Act.
Robert Sarvis (Libertarian)
In direct contrast to both Cuccinelli and McAuliffe, Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis has no formal political experience. Instead, his background is that of a businessman and software developer. He worked with Google to develop the Android platform
Sarvis earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Harvard University, a master’s of advanced studies from Cambridge University, a law degree from New York University and a master’s degree in economics from George Mason University.
Regarding his platform, Sarvis is running under the motto “Open Minded and Open for Business.” He has pledged to support school choice, right-to-work laws, drug policy reform and gun rights.
Sarvis has said marriage equality is a personal issue for him and supports legalizing same-sex marriage if elected governor. He also supports reforming the tax code, cracking down on government corruption and looking into ways to reduce the costs of education.