Five months before Virginia's gubernatorial election, Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli's campaign is hoping to benefit from casting Democratic challenger Terry McAuliffe as an outsider.
Cuccinelli's campaign is portraying McAuliffe, the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, as a native of Syracuse, N.Y., who considered running for governor in his home state as well as in Florida before deciding to enter the race in Virginia, reports The Washington Post
"Unlike McAuliffe, Cuccinelli is a product of Virginia," said a spokeswoman for Cuccinelli, the state's attorney general.
Over the past 100 years, the percentage of native-born residents of Virginia has fallen faster than anywhere else in the country, according to the Post, which notes that less than half of the state's population was born there. The paper points out that four of the last five governors were born outside the state. Cuccinelli himself was born in Edison, N.J.
But in the case of McAuliffe, "the issue is whether he understands Virginia and Virginia government. I have no evidence that he understands either," Pat McSweeney, a former chairman of the state's GOP, told the newspaper.
"He may have lived here, but if all you've done is focus on affairs outside of the state, you don't really know the state," he said.
A spokesman for McAuliffe described him to the Post as a "fresh face" with "a fresh approach."
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