The top race of 2013 is officially in high gear, with both candidates on the airwaves in Virginia’s bitter off-year governor’s race.
Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s first TV ad on Wednesday followed his GOP opponent Ken Cuccinelli’s targeted spot last week, meant to showcase his family and a “softer side” of the former DNC chairman. But a BuzzFeed story undercuts McAuliffe’s message—highlighting excerpts from his own biography, What a Party, where he recounts how he left the delivery room before the birth of his daughter to attend a Washington Post party, and later stopped at a Democratic fundraiser with his wife crying in the car on their way home from the hospital after the birth of their son.
McAuliffe’s 30-second spot shuffles through family photos, especially emphasizing that he has spent 20 years raising his family in Virginia, countering arguments from opponents that he had weak ties to the state and located his GreenTech automotive plant in Mississippi.
“I’m the youngest of four boys and when I was fourteen I saw a chance to literally pave the way to my future and I started a business paving driveways,” says McAuliffe.
“My wife Dorothy and I have lived in Virginia for over 20 and here we’ve raised five children of our own,” he continues. “I know nothing is more important to Virginians than creating good jobs that can support a family.”
Cuccinelli, the state’s attorney general, released his first ad last week, makes a play for one of his weakest demographics in the Old Dominion—women voters. The 30-second commercial stars his wife, Tiero, who highlights some of her husband’s less well-known areas of his résumé, instead of the GOP candidate’s anti-abortion and other conservative, and often controversial, positions.
“My husband Ken has spent his life standing up for the vulnerable and those in need. He’s worked the night shift at a homeless shelter, spent his college days leading efforts to prevent sexual assaults and represented those suffering from mental illness,” says Tiero.