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Race for VA Governor Turns to Battle of Disclosure - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Race for VA Governor Turns to Battle of Disclosure

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Ken Cuccinelli, Republican candidate for Virginia governor Ken Cuccinelli, Republican candidate for Virginia governor
Terry McAuliffe, Democratic candidate for Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe, Democratic candidate for Virginia governor

For the first time in state history, both candidates for Virginia governor released their personal tax information in the past week.

It's reminiscent of the 2012 presidential race, when the Obama campaign pressed Mitt Romney to release his tax returns.

Now, demands for financial information are trickling down to Virginia's race for governor.

"Little things keep popping up, and they will continue to pop up, don't worry," said Geoff Skelley, political analyst at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

The latest "little thing" to pop up in the race for governor is tax information.

"People seem to demand that the candidates tell them about their finances," Skelley said.

On April 17, Republican Ken Cuccinelli released eight years of his tax records to reporters. Reports indicate Cuccinelli made close to $200,000 in 2012.

Cuccinelli quickly turned the spotlight on his Democratic opponent Terry McAuliffe, calling on him to release his own tax information. Tuesday, McAuliffe released three years of tax summaries, showing most recently he made $8.2 million in 2011. 

"I have never seen it in a governor's race, and I think that Ken Cuccinelli is trying to change the subject," Toscano said. 

Democrats say Cuccinelli is trying to use the tax fight to distract from conflict of interest allegations, after failing to disclose holdings in a company involved in a tax lawsuit with the state. 

Cuccinelli recused himself from the case this month. And in a statement Tuesday, his campaign criticized the tax summaries released by McAuliffe, saying he fell "woefully short," and calling on him to "share with the public the details of how he made his income." 

A spokesman for the McAuliffe campaign says he went "above and beyond the disclosure requirements" by releasing three years of summaries. But amidst the back and forth, those watching the race closely know the battle is only just beginning. 

"I think you're going to see a lot of spending on radio and television in the next few months to define these candidates," Toscano said.

NBC29 could not get any Republican leaders to go on camera for this story. But regardless of politics, Democrat David Toscano says both campaigns are fighting an uphill battle to educate Virginians about who these candidates are.

That's part of why analysts expect ad spending to skyrocket in the next couple of months.

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