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Politicians, supporters mingle at Hob Nob

Julie Curd of Gore participates in the electronic straw poll during the Shenandoah Valley Hob Nob held at Lord Fairfax Community College in Middletown Friday evening. Local and state politicians assembled for the political event. Rich Cooley/Daily (Buy photo)

Attorney General Republican candidate Mark Obenshain, left, chats with Valley Health President and CEO Mark Merrill, right, during the Shenandoah Valley Hob Nob. Rich Cooley/Daily (Buy photo)

Teiro Cuccinelli, wife of Republican candidate for governor Ken Cuccinelli, applauds along with Republican lieutenant governor candidate E.W. Jackson during the Shenandoah Valley Hob Nob. Rich Cooley/Daily (Buy photo)

Teiro Cuccinelli describes husband's social justice history

By Joe Beck

MIDDLETOWN -- The wife of Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli defended her husband Friday night at Lord Fairfax Community College against what she condemned as inaccurate portrayals of her husband in the media as the race for governor enters its final weeks.

Teiro Cuccinelli urged an audience of about 350 at the 14th annual Hob Nob in the Valley sponsored by the Top of Virginia Regional Chamber of Commerce to look past media coverage that she said has favored Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe.

Teiro Cuccinelli did not mention her husband's recent decision to give $18,000 to charity -- the same amount he had received in gifts from a businessman whose dealings with the state have led to law enforcement investigations involving the attorney general and Gov. Bob McDonnell.

Teiro Cuccinelli described Ken Cuccinelli's history as one of advocating on behalf of victims of sexual assault while in college, tutoring poor children in Washington, D.C., works of compassion toward the mentally ill and successfully clearing the record of a man who was wrongly convicted of rape and spent 27 years in prison.

"This is the real Ken Cuccinelli," she said. "Ken's Democratic opponent has a two-pronged strategy in this race: Get out and shake hands in Northern Virginia and spend millions of dollars trying to destroy the reputation of a good man who has served Virginians his entire life. And he's getting a lot of help from the media."

Teiro Cuccinelli was the only representative from either the Democratic or Republican gubernatorial campaigns to speak at the event, which traditionally draws candidates and supporters from both political parties for an evening of speeches, food, drink and socializing.

"I ask you before you go out and vote in this election," she said, "to take the time to find out the truth about each candidate, about how they serve their community, their political and professional knowledge and experience and accomplishment, and please find out the truth about each man's character."

Robert C. Sarvis, the Libertarian candidate for governor, spoke before Cuccinelli. Sarvis said he was inspired to run by his experience working in high tech businesses in California, a place where "entrepreneurship drives innovation in a relatively free market where regulations are not choking them to death."

Sarvis said he favored competition for public schools as an incentive for them to improve in communities where students are failing to learn.

"Let's free ourselves from the bureaucratic mess of public education," Sarvis said. "That doesn't mean undermining it. I strongly believe in fixing public education. And I have a lot of ideas that we can institute in the public education system. "But I do believe in local control of the schools."

The statewide Republican candidates swept a straw poll of the attendees. The final tallies showed Cuccinelli with 65 percent of the vote; E.W. Jackson taking 68 percent for lieutenant governor and state Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg, winning 73 percent in the attorney general's race.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com

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