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by Brandon Jarvis

There is always a debate before the debate and this gubernatorial race will be no different. Democratic candidate for governor Terry McAuliffe announced on Tuesday that he has accepted five debate invitations ahead of the general election in November. 

‚ÄúVirginians deserve to hear directly from us about our plans for the Commonwealth, and I hope Glenn Youngkin will join me at these five debates,” McAuliffe said in a press release Tuesday. 

The campaign for Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin has not commented on the announcement from McAuliffe. 

The planning process for debates, especially ones of this magnitude, is typically plagued with political maneuvering and posturing. In 2017, Ed Gillespie challenged Ralph Northam to ten debates and Northam only proposed three. Gillespie called it insulting to Virginians but eventually settled for three. 

The debates that McAuliffe agreed to are:

  • Hot Springs, Virginia: Virginia Bar Association – July 24
  • Hampton Roads: Norfolk State University
  • Southwest Virginia: Appalachian School of Law – August/September
  • Northern Virginia: Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce, NBC4/Telemundo 44 and the Schar School of Public Policy and Government at George Mason University – September 28
  • Richmond: AARP Virginia and WTVR – October 12

The first public poll in the race shows McAuliffe with a four-point lead, giving Republicans hope that they can compete in the state that voted in favor of Joe Biden less than a year ago. 

The general election is taking place on Nov. 2.

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