Judy’s Notebook: Debating in the Old Dominion

 


Watch the Virginia candidates for governor debate in the live stream player above beginning at 11 a.m. EDT July 20. Republican Ken Cuccinelli and Democrat Terry McAuliffe will field questions from moderator Judy Woodruff.

Get ready for the candidates to debate!

Yes, you read that right. It’s 2013, not a year in which we elect a president, or even members of Congress (aside from a handful of special elections). But two states hold gubernatorial elections this November — New Jersey and Virginia. Virginia’s candidates, Republican Ken Cuccinelli and Democrat Terry McAuliffe, meet in their first debate on Saturday, July 20. It’ll be sponsored by the Virginia Bar Association and I have the honor of moderating.

As I write this, I’m sitting in front of a fat three-ring binder full of articles about the candidates and their positions on the issues. From transportation to taxes, from energy to the economy, and on an array of social issues, McAuliffe and Cuccinelli have spelled out their views, with more or less detail. They’ve made countless speeches, answered reporters’ questions, and posted position papers on their websites. But this will be the first time they’ve faced each other in a debate.

My goal is straightforward: to draw them out, to have them expand as fully as possible on their ideas, and to give the voters of Virginia the best possible understanding of where they’re coming from and what sort of governor each would be. But in order to do that, I need to know as much as I can about what Cuccinelli and McAuliffe have said in the past. Hence, the three-ring binder, which grows larger by the day, thanks to the NewsHour’s ace lead researcher, Sandi Fox.

They’ve made countless speeches, answered reporters’ questions, and posted position papers on their websites. But this will be the first time they’ve faced each other in a debate.”

The Virginia Bar Association has begun to solicit suggestions for questions from its membership, and now, I want to ask you to do the same. If you’re following the race for governor in this state of more than 8 million people, steeped in history — with a state assembly that’s the oldest continuous law-making body in the Western Hemisphere — I’d like to hear from you! Follow the link here or submit your question below. And we will live stream the debate on our website beginning at 11 a.m. EDT July 20.

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