Free Lance-Star reporter Chelyen Davis covers Virginia government.
Kaine commits to 8 broadcast debates, including one in Fredericksburg
In recent years, statewide candidates in Virginia usually participate in three general election debates – one held by the Virginia Bar Association in the summer, one by the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce in early fall and a third.
But Democratic Senate candidate Tim Kaine wants more.
He announced this morning that he has accepted eight debate invitations for his fall match-up against Republican George Allen, all of which would be broadcast in some way. One would be in Fredericksburg – at the Virginia NAACP state conference, scheduled to be held in Fredericksburg.
Others would be at different forums around the state through the fall.
“The stakes in this election are extremely high and all Virginians deserve an opportunity to hear directly from the candidates on issues of regional, state, and national importance,” said Kaine spokeswoman Brandi Hoffine in a written statement. “Our priority is to participate in enough broadcast debates so that all Virginians get a chance to compare the candidates side-by-side. We look forward to working with George Allen’s campaign to make sure that happens.”
Allen, who just won his party’s nomination last night, has not committed to those debates. The Allen campaign said the Kaine folks didn’t contact them about the debates until a couple of hours after Kaine’s press release went out.
“In addition to meeting with Virginians statewide, we of course look forward to debates this fall to contrast our records,” said Allen spokeswoman Emily Davis. “If Chairman Kaine had a record of listening to Virginians more and talking at them less he would understand that Virginians don’t regard year after year of over 8 percent national unemployment as ‘doing fine’ and don’t regard Obamacare as a ‘great achievement.’”