STAUNTON - Preaching limited government and activism to support consumers, Republican attorney general candidate Ken Cuccinelli came to the Shenandoah Valley Monday to raise money.
Appearing at Staunton Country Club fundraiser, Cuccinelli promised to protect Virginia's state sovereignty, the right-to-work law and the marriage amendment.
Cuccinelli said while government can support public safety and the building of roads and schools, it should "let the private sector do the rest."
He said he will fight to protect Virginia's right-to-work law under the state sovereignty protected by the Tenth Amendment, and said he will also battle to protect the state's marriage amendment.
"That battle will be fought in federal court and the attorneys general will fight it,'' Cuccinelli said of the marriage amendment.
Democratic opponent Steve Shannon drew criticism from Cuccinelli, who said Shannon has "a 100 percent AFL-CIO rating.'' Several of the Democrat's largest donors are unions, Cuccinelli said.
The Shannon campaign said only 6 percent of its money has come from labor unions.
"Ken Cuccinelli's attacks on Steve Shannon are not only false, they are ridiculous," Shannon campaign manager Mike Henry said. "Steve is proud of the support his campaign has received from all across Virginia from people who believe in his plan to make Virginia safer.
"Steve has been endorsed by several organizations, including the Virginia Association of Realtors, the Virginia Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors and the Virginia Credit Union League, that share his belief that our next attorney general should spend more time talking about making Virginia safer and less time about his own personal political agenda."
Henry called on Cuccinelli to focus on "the issues that actually pertain to being attorney general, like cracking down on gangs, drugs and Internet predators who target our kids."
Sixth District U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Roanoke, said Cuccinelli urgently needs donations because Shannon had a head start on raising money.
"He does need to raise money so he can get his message out in October,'' Goodlatte said of Cuccinelli.
Cuccinelli said while he leads Shannon in the polls, he is still well behind the Democrat in fundraising.
Both candidates released endorsements on Monday.
Cuccinelli announced the endorsement of 77 Virginia law enforcement officials, including sheriffs and commonwealth's attorneys.
Shannon announced the support of 40 law enforcement and first-response organizations and officials from across the state.