Candidates take stage in rural Virginia for last gubernatorial debate

WISE, Va. — The last of three televised gubernatorial debates between Lieutenant Governor and gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam (D) and Republican Ed Gillespie will be broadcast on Oct. 9 from the David J. Prior Convocation Center in Wise, Virginia. The debate is co-hosted by the University of Virginia’s College at Wise, the Southwestern Virginia Technology Council and the University of Virginia’s Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy.

The debate will be moderated by Paul Johnson, who anchors at NBC affiliate WCYB. Carmen Forman, a journalist with The Roanoke Times will serve as a panelist and pose questions to the candidates.

Leaders with the school said that the debate is the first of its kind to take place in far Southwest Virginia. Candidates will split the focus between “issues that matter to rural Virginia and topics of importance to the Commonwealth as a whole.”

“The historic debate gives the region an opportunity to learn more about each candidate and the issues that are important to southwestern Virginia and the entire Commonwealth,” UVa-Wise Chancellor Donna P. Henry said. “We are honored to join the Southwestern Virginia Technology Council and the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy in hosting the debate on our campus.”

The debate will begin at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast live on WCYB. The debate will also be streamed in the player above.

Northam had held the lead in the polls, and recently hit the magic 50 percent mark among likely voter. He leads Gillespie 51 – 41 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released in September. Libertarian Party candidate Cliff Hyra had 3 percent.