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Virginia Gubernatorial Race Briefly Turns To Issues, Though Scandal Looms

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McAuliffe and Cuccinelli are talking issues for now, but scandal looms around the corner.
Gage Skidmore:mhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/6238582161/
McAuliffe and Cuccinelli are talking issues for now, but scandal looms around the corner.

In Virginia, candidates for governor have spent the week rolling out new policy positions. Still, scandal looms on both sides.

Democrat Terry McAuliffe is crossing the commonwealth on an official launch tour, talking about modifying the Standards of Learning test for public school students and expanding workforce training at community colleges. Meanwhile Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinnelli says he would like to reduce or eliminate the business and professional occupancy license taxes.

For a campaign that's been all about scandal and intrigue for months, politics have suddenly become about government. But University of Mary Washington professor Steven Farnsworth says that's probably temporary.

"The real focus on these campaigns will occur in the fall, so it isn't as if the candidates risk boring people. Nobody is really paying attention at this stage," he says.

By the time the fall comes, many are expecting Cuccinelli to be hit with television commercials about his ties to a businessman under FBI investigation and McAuliffe to defend his relationship with a green car company that located a factory in Mississippi rather than Virginia.

"But it's also a way to try to get the press to talk about something other than all the negative stuff going on in the campaigns, and I think there's plenty of it on both sides. And I think the campaign is going to be very negative," says Kyle Kondik, a political analyst at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

The television commercials have already started airing in the race, and many are expecting a record-breaking glut of broadcast adverting this year.

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