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Dem. Gov. Candidates Promise Investment, Environmental Cleanup And Broadband At Southwest Va. Debate


Voting has already started for the June 8th Democratic primary, and candidates for governor are moving toward the close of the campaign.

The five Democrats running for governor were in Southwest Virginia this week, appearing in a televised debate and promising the region broadband access and economic development. Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax said the region is too often forgotten, and he would put a new emphasis on it as governor. Senator Jennifer McClellan explained the details of how she would finance cleaning up the environmental damage created by abandoned mines.

Former Governor Terry McAuliffe made this declaration.  "I promise you, by the end of the next four years, I will have broadband for every single home here in Virginia."

McAuliffe is presenting his agenda as big and bold, although the target on his back is also big and bold. He has more endorsements and more money than any of the other candidates, and he also has an outsized lead in the polls -- way ahead of the other candidates.

Delegate Lee Carter attacked the former governor for being too close to corporations, and Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy repeatedly attacked McAuliffe as a politician of the past.  "Terry McAuliffe will talk about going big and bold, but when he had his chance he left most Virginians behind."

While the other candidates were attacking him, McAuliffe turned his attention to attacking the Republicans as being anti-gay, anti-woman and anti-environment -- an indication he's already looking past the primary to the Republican that will be selected by convention delegates this weekend.

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


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