Gubernatorial candidates gearing up for debates

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia’s republican and democratic gubernatorial nominees will face off in their first debate on Saturday.

The debate, hosted by the Virginia Bar Association, will take place in Hot Springs.

Last month, Gillespie challenged Northam to 10 debates and 10 joint appearances. Northam agreed to three debates and seven joint appearances.

Gillespie campaign manager, Chris Leavitt, released a statement following Northam’s release of his debate schedule:

Lieutenant Governor Northam’s accepting of only three debates is not just insulting to Virginians, but also a clear indication of the shadow campaign he intends to run, ducking the tough questions and the biggest stages. That’s not the kind of leadership Virginia needs, nor deserves. While the Lieutenant Governor has decided not to come take questions from voters and media in various parts of the state, Ed remains happy to do so.”

On Wednesday, Northam released which events he will participate in:

July 22: Virginia Bar Association
September 19: Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce
October: Southwest Virginia Debate hosted by UVA-Wise, the Batten School, and Southwest Virginia Technology Council

Joint Appearances
Government & Nonprofits: A Dialogue about Roles, Responsibilities and Perspectives hosted by Northern Virginia Ideas Exchange (NoVIE)
Virginia Association of Counties Meeting
NAACP Joint Appearance
Voices for Virginia’s Children
Loudoun Times-Mirror Town Hall Forum
Multicultural Chamber Alliance
Chesapeake Bay Foundation and James River Association Forum

Libertarian nominee Cliff Hyra is not scheduled to participate in Saturday’s debate. This week, his team sent a letter to the Virginia Bar Association asking to be included.

“Our campaign is confident that Cliff Hyra, a Mechanicsville-based patent law attorney and dues-paying member of the Virginia Bar Association, is worthy of inclusion in this and any gubernatorial debate in 2017, and that his presence will elevate the quality and tenor of the exchange between the candidates,”  campaign director John Vaught LaBeaume wrote.

For more details or to suggest a question for Saturday’s debate, click HERE.

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