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The candidates’ wives have different skill sets that they would bring to the Executive Mansion.
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Their husbands are running for governor. And on Nov. 6, one of them will wake up as the next first lady of Virginia.
From different backgrounds and with different interests, Alice Monteiro Cuccinelli, Dorothy McAuliffe and Astrid Sarvis are stumping for their spouses while helping to hold down the home front.
Neither McAuliffe nor Cuccinelli let on if they have planned for the logistics should they become first lady of Virginia, which could include uprooting children and moving to the Executive Mansion, a place that’s half museum, half private home.
Sarvis, 30, was raised in the Mississippi Delta, one of eight children to a mother who she says received some form of public assistance until Sarvis was in medical school.
She wasn’t focused on medicine when she started high school, but credits a chemistry teacher who saw something in her and encouraged her to apply to Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans as a pre-med student.
She says she followed with medical school at the University of Mississippi on a full scholarship. In her fifth year, she studied at Yale University, where she earned a master’s degree in public health.
She’s now wrapping up her residency in pediatrics at a hospital in Fairfax County.
Meanwhile, she married Robert in 2010 and had two children.
Dorothy McAuliffe met Terry years before they married. According to Terry McAuliffe’s autobiography, Dorothy had just turned 16 when they met.
When she first knew him, Terry “was more like the older family friend,” Dorothy McAuliffe said in an interview in Richmond last week.
Dorothy’s mother was prescient, however, telling Dorothy’s father at one point in those early days that she thought the two would wed one day.
It wasn’t until Dorothy McAuliffe started at Catholic University — where she earned a degree in political science — that they began dating. After Catholic, she said she went on to attend law school at Georgetown University and work as a banking and finance lawyer.
Despite snapshots of their private life appearing in Terry’s book, “What a Party!,” she doesn’t seem to relish media attention.
She appeared more comfortable at a campaign event last week digging into a garden with classes of young children and five former first ladies of Virginia.
The event was intended to highlight one of McAuliffe’s focuses: food. She talks about the importance of children eating fresh, nutritious food and how that dovetails with promoting Virginia’s largest industry — agriculture.
Alice Monteiro Cuccinelli, known as “Teiro,” has stepped onto the campaign trail, especially for meet and greets, where she said she tries to flesh out the picture of her husband that voters may have gotten from TV ads.
Cuccinelli, 43, was born in Radford and raised in Virginia, mostly Northern Virginia. Her parents divorced when she was young, and she said her mother worked full time to provide for her three children. She eventually remarried.
She met Ken when she moved a few doors down from him in McLean when she was in high school. They dated as teenagers and then were apart for most of their college years. She graduated from James Madison University with a business degree, and the two married in 1991.
They have seven children, ages 4 to 17, whom the Cuccinellis have home-schooled until they reach about sixth grade.
Like the other spouses, she said she’s focused on Nov. 5 and not the logistics beyond.
She has causes dear to her, however, and says her goal would be to serve the disadvantaged of Virginia. She said she wants to assist in empowering parents and helping them try to work toward school choice.
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