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E.W. Jackson calls for eliminating corporate income tax, suggests Cuccinelli agrees

Virginia lieutenant governor hopeful E.W. Jackson sits down for an interview at a hotel in Tysons Corner earlier this year. (Dayna Smith/The Washington Post)

Virginia lieutenant governor hopeful E.W. Jackson wants to eliminate the state’s corporate income tax entirely someday, an idea that goes well beyond what his ticketmate, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II, has proposed.

Jackson (R) — the Chesapeake minister who faces state Sen. Ralph S. Northam (D-Norfolk) in the lieutenant governor contest — discussed his suggestion at a rally Thursday in Mechanicsville. His comments were recorded by a Democratic tracker and provided to The Washington Post.

At the event, Jackson described Cuccinelli’s economic plan, saying: “We support reducing the corporate income tax ... from six percent to four percent.” Then he went further.

“Now, this is something Ken won’t talk about, not because he’s not willing to, but because he’s only got four years, of course, and he’s term limited out,” Jackson said.

“But we really believe that if you plan properly, you could do away with the corporate tax in Virginia and help create an economic boom here. But we believe it’s going to take longer than four years. So this is not an announcement that I’m running for governor folks, but if given the opportunity I will certainly work to make sure that we get rid of the income tax ...”

Cuccinelli spokeswoman Anna Nix said that Jackson did not speak for Cuccinelli, and it was up to the lieutenant governor nominee to explain his comments.

“Ken is focused on what he can accomplish in the next four years, and that is lowering the corporate income tax from six to four percent,” Nix said, while not addressing whether Cuccinelli agrees that the corporate tax should eventually be eliminated.

Cuccinelli, who is battling businessman Terry McAuliffe (D) in the governor’s race, has made a point of saying that he is running his own campaign and has sought not to tie himself closely to Jackson, who has a history of making controversial remarks on a variety of subjects.

But they do appear together sometimes., including at an event in Roanoke last weekend.

“It’s great to be here with the whole ticket. As E.W. said, we’re running together. We’re running hard,” Cuccinelli said at the event.

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