Freshman incumbent Sen. Ken Cuccinelli (R-37th) scored a decisive victory, Saturday, in the Republican primary, to go forward as his party's candidate in the November election.
The vote was held during a Republican Mass Meeting at Centreville High, and Cuccinelli picked up 78.5 percent of the votes cast to soundly defeat challenger Jim McIntyre.
"I'm always glad to put intra-Republican conflict behind me because you're [competing against someone] on the same team," said Cuccinelli, 34, of Centreville's Hanna Estates community. "It's nice to be done with that and go on to the general election."
He said it's clear that many people have seen how effective he's been in his first nine months in office. Said Cuccinelli: "The voters of the 37th District feel very strongly that their tax burdens are too heavy, and they finally feel like they have a representative who will fight for them — a voice of reason in Richmond."
A patent attorney, he stressed that he and his fellow Republicans successfully led the fight to trounce the proposed sales-tax increase last November — although those in favor of the tax hike outspent them in that campaign "by more than 10 to one."
The father of five daughters, Cuccinelli is also proud of his unwavering stand on abortion. "The fact that I was the veto-overriding vote on partial-birth abortion and was a leader in both [this battle] and parental-consent fights was critical for many voters [who] believe that family values are not always well-represented in Richmond," he said.
In his race for re-election in November against Centreville Democrat Jim Mitchell, Cuccinelli expects to focus on taxes, transportation and social issues. He said the next General Assembly will be spending time on tax restructuring and whether to raise or lower taxes or keep them the same.
"I'm strongly in favor of revenue-neutral tax restructuring," he said. "It is important to restructure our [state] tax code from one based on an agrarian economy. But we shouldn't use that restructuring as an excuse to raise taxes."
Cuccinelli was in Richmond, Tuesday, working on some transportation proposals. He also intends to revisit his proposal to cap real-estate tax increases at 5 percent per year. "All it does is rein in future growth — which is what we want to do," he said. "What matters to folks in Fairfax County is the [number of] dollars going out of their pockets."
Now he and his campaign workers are regrouping to prepare for his upcoming campaign. "We'll get our volunteers back together in the summer to spring our campaign plan on them," he said. "We'll get their input, adjust our plans accordingly and then implement them."
As for Mitchell, Cuccinelli acknowledged that, every time he's run for office, he's put up a "significant fight," so he expects him to again. However, he warned, "It's a difficult year to be a tax-and-spend Democrat, and that's an issue that's going to course across the entire county — although I'll stick to running in my own district."
Counting the sales-tax referendum battle, he said, "We've won four races in 11 months. And we hope, when all is said and done in November, we'll have won five in 17 months." Added Cuccinelli: "I expect this will be one of the most vigorous campaigns in the county."
Noting that he stands strongly behind the issues he runs on, he said that often makes him a focal point of the opposition — which is both good and bad. "But I'm certainly not going to change my position on the bedrock principles," he said. "Whatever people think about my position, I do what I say I'm going to do and I don't beat around the bush. And people find that refreshing from a politician."
Agreeing, his wife Teiro says her husband knows what he believes in and sticks to it. "I am extremely proud of him," she said. "He's working so hard, and there are so many people who believe in him."
As for their children, she said the girls think his being a politician is the greatest thing in the world. "They think, 'There's George Bush and then there's Daddy,'" she said. "They really seem to enjoy it. They even asked their babysitter, 'Has your daddy run for state senate, yet?'"