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Five Democrats Seeking Nomination for Governor Debate at VSU

AP Photo/Steve Helber

The Democratic primary for governor is only two months away, and the campaign is heating up. The five candidates seeking the party’s nomination have met for the first televised debate of the primary season.

In the first televised debate for governor in the Democratic primary, Terry McAuliffe was the only candidate on the stage with the title of former governor. And the one with the biggest target.

Former Delegate Jennifer Carrol Foy said McAuliffe wasn't serious about reducing gun violence.

"When Terry McAuliffe had the opportunity as governor to be serious about gun violence, he did a backroom deal with the NRA undermining concealed weapons laws in Virginia making us all less safe."

Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax said the McAuliffe was too quick to call for his resignation.

"He treated me like George Floyd. He treated me like Emmet Till. No due process."

Delegate Lee Carter said other candidates on the stage were slow to call for legalizing pot.

"I introduced legislation to legalize cannabis in the commonwealth of Virginia back when even some of the other candidates on the stage asked me why are you doing this to us in an election year?"

Senator Jennifer McClellan said McAuliffe could have addressed problems with the Parole Board.

"Governor McAuliffe had an opportunity to put more money in place for the Parole Board. Unfortunately, he didn't."

The governor's response?

"I mean really?"

Voters will get to weigh in on his record, and the record of the other candidates when they head to the polls on June 8.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.