VP candidates poised to face off on Longwood University debate stage


REMINDER: Tonight’s debate will air at 9 p.m. on 8News. You can also live stream the debate on our 8News Facebook Page

FARMVILLE, Va. (WRIC) — Thousands are converging on the campus of Longwood University Tuesday as the campaign trail leads right to the heart of Virginia.

Vice Presidential candidates Tim Kaine and Mike Pence will take the stage together for the one and only 2016 vice-presidential debate at 9 p.m. in Willet Hall. The seating is limited with about 500 seats and 100 of those designated for students.

Virginia is, of course, Tim Kaine’s home state, but the commission on the presidential debates actually chose Longwood more than six months before Kaine was selected as Hillary Clinton’s running mate.

The school beat out about 100 other universities to host the debate.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity to share our story. We’ve been here a long time — one of the 100 oldest colleges and universities. But we’re not well known as we ought to be beyond Virginia. It’s, of course, great to get that name out,” said Justin Pope, Longwood University Chief of Staff.

More than 1,000 volunteers, which included many students, helped make this debate happen. Students who were interested in volunteering had to fill out an application last semester. They were selected based on that application and their major. Some were even chosen to be inside the debate hall Tuesday night, including student Kira Davis.

0bbeed79bc674004b5578ae675b78e2d“It means the world,” she told 8News. “I want to get into government, I want to get into politics some day. So, the ability to sit there and watch Mike Pence and Tim Kaine just talk about their beliefs and their ideals with a bunch of all these media people around me and my fellow students, it’s going to be amazing.

Some 2,000 members of the media are expected to be on the school’s campus. Longwood University only enrolls 5,000 students and the entire town of Farmville is home to about 8,000 people.

Stay with 8News as we continue our team coverage of the vice presidential debate.

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