Kenneth Thomas “Ken” Cuccinelli II graduated from Gonzaga College High School in 1986 and received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University. Cuccinelli also received a J.D. and an M.A. in International Commerce and Policy from George Mason University. Cuccinelli was a leading conservative member of the Virginia Senate from 2002-2010 and is the state’s current attorney general. Cuccinelli is a practicing Roman Catholic and currently lives in Nokesville, VA with his wife, Teiro, and their seven children.
Cuccinelli has stressed the correlation between education and economic opportunity, and hopes to implement partnerships that combine the business needs with education and training programs. He believes that concentrating resources on science, technology, engineering and mathematics — “STEM” curriculum — along with health care and other high-demand fields will help increase the employability of recent graduates. Cuccinelli also wishes to make higher education more affordable for students by increasing Tuition Assistance Grants, increasing work-study programs with a $10 million financial aid package and providing additional funding for STEM majors.
Cuccinelli is a pro-life advocate. In 2008, Cuccinelli was named the Family Foundation of Virginia “Legislator of the Year” and supported multiple bills that discouraged abortion by tightening restrictions around the procedure.
Cuccinelli has expressed opposition to climate change and global warming theories, spurring controversy over an incident in which he used federal funds to pursue legal action against Mann regarding his climate science research. He also is a strong proponent of offshore drilling.
Cuccinelli is a staunch opponent of the Affordable Care Act and has been quoted as calling it “the Un-affordable Care Act”. He hopes to reform current health care programs in favor of a more patient-centered system. He believes states are constrained by federal laws and regulations, and hopes to improve patient safety by updating health care information systems and providing more information to families and businesses to allow them to make educated health care decisions.
Cuccinelli hopes to increase the establishment of new small businesses, expand the prevalence of mid-size businesses and help corporations create more jobs. In his “Economic Growth and Virginia Jobs Plan,” Cuccinelli proposes to reduce the individual income tax rate from 5.75 percent to 5 percent for those making more than $17,000 annually, reduce the business income tax from 6 percent to 4 percent and create a Small Business Tax Relief Commission.
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