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McAuliffe: Scientific Research Should be Priority in VA

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Terry McAuliffe Terry McAuliffe

The Democrat hoping to become Virginia's next governor was drumming up support Friday in Charlottesville. Terry McAuliffe says scientific research should be a top priority in the commonwealth - something he says his Republican opponent, Ken Cuccinelli, has disregarded with so-called "anti-science activity."

With just about two months left until Election Day, McAuliffe is focusing on jobs stemming from the science industry. He says scientists are essential to helping Virginia grow its economy.

McAuliffe stressed the need to support science in Virginia as he toured Indoor Biotechnologies in Charlottesville Friday. 

"We have to be competitive on a global basis," he said. "I know as governor I got to compete with 200 nations around the world, 49 other states - we got to make it number one."

A handful of supporters joined McAuliffe on his visit, including Charlottesville Delegate David Toscano, leaders from the League of Conservation Voters, and former University of Virginia climatologist Michael Mann. Mann was the target of a 2010 fraud investigation led by Cuccinelli.

"He didn't like the results of our research that shows that climate change is real, that it does represent a threat, that we need to deal with in a good faith manner," he said.

McAuliffe stressed the commonwealth needs to welcome scientists from around the world in order to be competitive.

"You cannot be number one if we're not providing the resources and the facilities and clearly we cannot be number one when we are suing scientists on climate change," McAuliffe said.

McAuliffe also discussed his stance on issues such as education, transportation, and military action in Syria, as the race to the governor's seat is nearing its end.

"Our commander-in-chief, our military, along with our Congress, are looking at data that I'm not exposed to but I know they'll make the right decision," McAuliffe said.

As for McAuliffe's opponent, Cuccinelli, he is opposed to any military intervention in Syria.

Following McAuliffe's visit in Charlottesville, he made the last stop on his tour of Virginia's 23 community colleges.

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