As the former head of the Democratic National Committee running in one of only two governors races this year, Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe has attracted a lot of outsized attention, with a million dollars supporting his candidacy from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and scheduled campaign events with former President Bill Clinton.
A businessman and close friend and adviser of both Bill and Hillary Clinton, McAuliffe is currently leading his opponent, Republican state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, by single digits, in the latest polls. The two will face off at the ballot in two weeks.
CNN has confirmed a new $1.1 million ad buy from the Independence USA PAC formed by Bloomberg, the multibillionaire who has spent millions of dollars supporting gun control throughout the country, via his political action committee and the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
"Ken Cuccinelli opposed closing the gun show loophole -- against comprehensive background checks at gun shows for criminals and the dangerously mentally ill. Siding with the NRA and undermining law enforcement," says the announcer in the new spot.
McAuliffe was aided on the campaign trail by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton this past Saturday. Starting Sunday, he will be joined by the former President at a series of five campaign events in Dale City, Richmond, Hampton, Norfolk and Blacksburg, Virginia.
The events with Bill Clinton will "discuss the importance of voting in this election and the clear choice facing Virginia voters between Terry McAuliffe's mainstream plan to create jobs and invest in education and Ken Cuccinelli's extreme ideological agenda," according to a statement from the McAuliffe campaign.
In an off-cycle election year, the only other state with a gubernatorial election is New Jersey, where Republican Gov. Chris Christie enjoys a wide margin in the polls. That puts the far-more competitive Virginia race in an outsized-light, drawing attention from Bloomberg and the Clintons for McAuliffe and Republicans such as former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, for Cuccinelli.
The heated race has seen Cuccinelli accusing McAuliffe of lacking the executive experience to lead a state while McAuliffe has hammered his opponent for right-wing views he's painted as too-extreme for swing state Virginia.
Cuccinelli has also attacked McAuliffe for the electric car company the Democrat co-founded that is now under federal investigation.
Key among Cuccinelli's attacks on McAuliffe are his political connections. In a blog post on his website, titled "Back to the Baggage," Cuccinelli's campaign promised to "explore McAuliffe's unique role at the intersection of big money and politics," for the Democrat's role in campaign contributors being granted a night in the Lincoln Bedroom of the White House during Clinton's presidency.
--CNN's Paul Steinhauser, Kevin Bohn and Bryan Koenig contributed to this report.