By Kevin Liptak
(CNN) — Terry McAuliffe and Ken Cuccinelli are both introducing themselves to Virginia voters in biographical television spots six months before the commonwealth chooses its next governor.
McAuliffe’s 30-second ad, which begins airing Thursday, features the Democratic operative recounting a business he began as a teenager.
“I’m the youngest of four boys, and when I was fourteen I saw a chance to literally pave the way to my future and I started a business paving driveways. That helped me pay for college,” he says in the spot over archive photos of himself in front of a paving truck.
“I know nothing is more important to Virginians than creating good jobs that can support a family,” he continues. “That will be my focus every day. I’m Terry McAuliffe and that’s why I’m running for governor.”
McAuliffe is a former Democratic National Committee chairman who served as a top adviser to Bill and Hillary Clinton. He’s making his second bid for Virginia governor – his first attempt came in 2009.
He’s up against Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who began airing his first ad on Monday. It features his wife Teiro speaking about her husband’s advocacy for “the vulnerable and those in need.”
“He’s worked the night shift at a homeless shelter, spent his college days leading efforts to prevent sexual assaults, and represented those suffering from mental illness,” she says over music.
“As attorney general, Ken fought to find and prosecute child predators and human traffickers,” she continues. “Virginia deserves a governor who is experienced, principled, and honest. I think you’ll find that’s what Ken Cuccinelli is all about.”
Virginia voters will select a new governor in November. The commonwealth and New Jersey are the only two states to hold gubernatorial elections in the year after a presidential race.
Current Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican, is term limited and cannot run for re-election.
A poll taken at the end of March showed voters largely unfamiliar with McAuliffe – 63% of those surveyed in the Quinnipiac poll said they didn’t know enough about him to form an opinion. Forty-four percent said they didn’t know enough about Cuccinelli.
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