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Candidates for Governor spar over debates

Terry McAuliffe and Glenn Youngkin
Terry McAuliffe and Glenn Youngkin(Associated Press)
Published: Jun. 25, 2021 at 7:03 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - The candidates for Virginia Governor will clash on many issues between now and November. But right now, the debate is about - debates.

It is a recurring theme in Virginia’s statewide races.

And this year, Democrat Terry McAuliffe is accusing Republican Glenn Youngkin of avoiding them.

“I’ve done 150 interviews. I’ve done four statewide debates,” McAuliffe told WDBJ7 Friday morning. “You’re running for Governor. Stand up and answer the questions. You know it’s the most important job that we have here.”

The candidates have received at least five invitations, and McAuliffe has accepted all of them. So far the two campaigns have agreed to a single meeting, at the Applachian School of Law in Grundy, on a date to be determined.

Youngkin says his team is working to arrange more.

“I cannot wait to really shine a light on the distinct differences of the tired old policies that Terry McAuliffe is trying to recycle, and didn’t work for Virginia last time,” Youngkin told WDBJ7 Friday afternoon. “And he’s trying to convince Virginians they’re going to work now.”

Virginia Tech Professor and WDBJ7 Political Analyst Bob Denton said a debate about debates is no surprise.

“It’s about how many do you have. It’s about the location. It’s about the sponsorship. It’s about the moderators and what are the rules,” Denton said. “And so, it’s also very much a strategic decision, whether to debate. How many debates? Do you need to debate?”

At the end of the day, Denton said he would expect to see three debates, and perhaps sooner rather than later in the fall campaign.

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