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AG candidates appear before Richmond bar

Democrat Steve Shannon (left) and Republican Ken Cuccinelli (right) stuck to familiar themes this afternoon at the Richmond Bench-Bar Conference in the last of their four joint appearances before next month’s attorney general election.

Shannon, a Delegate from Fairfax since 2003, emphasized his work as a prosecutor and referred to himself as “a centrist, law-and-order, pro-business Democrat.”

Cuccinelli, a Senator from Fairfax since 2002, stressed his commitment to the Constitution the way it was written and to life and family issues.

The latter reference was as close as Cuccinelli came to commenting on the social issues such as his opposition to abortion and same-sex unions for which he is perhaps best known as a legislator. He talked more about his work on mental health issues and on his early call for a special legislative session to address , the U.S. Supreme Court case that created hurdles for drug and drunken driving prosecutions.

Shannon said he gave up a position with an international law firm to become a prosecutor in Fairfax County in an effort to make Virginia a safer place. He said he will continue that effort as attorney general by focusing on gang violence and child pornography.

U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson moderated the appearance before a luncheon crowd of about 280. The candidates noted that the gathering probably was bigger than the audiences for their three previous appearances combined.

By Alan Cooper

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