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Gubernatorial Nominees Make Closing Arguments

Youngkin Fredericksburg.jpg
Jahd Khalil
/
RadioIQ
Glenn Youngkin greets supports on the campaign trail in Fredericksburg on October 30, 2021.

Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin are making their final appeals to voters in person and on the airwaves, as early voting ends and efforts turn to election day.

Youngkin, who wants to become governor after years in a private equity career, stopped in Fredericksburg on Saturday. While some families came out to see Youngkin stump near the Shannon Airport, Jay Greene came with his family for the annual harvest festival. The “diehard republican” was pleased to see Youngkin.

“It’s very important currently, just given the state of affairs in the country, that you step up and vote Republican in my opinion,” he said. Many Republicans are casting their vote in repudiation of President Joe Biden as well.

Nearby, a pair of vendors are selling memorabilia with “Let’s Go Brandon,” a euphemism for a vulgar insult of Biden. They were not affiliated with the Youngkin campaign, they said.

Greene said conservative friends and colleagues are energized over controversies in Northern Virginia School system.

“He wants government to stand between parents and their children,” said Youngkin in a speech in Warrenton Friday.

Youngkin also claims, falsely, that Critical Race Theory is being taught in Virginia schools.

In the Warrenton speech, Youngkin spoke against Virginia’s right-to-work law, proposed eliminating the grocery tax, and spoke against vaccine mandates.

“Terry McAuliffe believes in government control. Well friends, I believe in freedom and liberty and that’s why I’m running for governor.”

Terry McAuliffe made a different pitch in the suburbs of Richmond Sunday, toting his experience in government and warning that a win for republicans would roll back recent Democratic gains on women’s health, LGBTQ protections, and voting access.

"Folks it's about lifting people up. It's about giving everybody opportunity and that's what you need in a governor," McAuliffe said. "I've got 20 big plans laid out of where I want to take Virginia. And I'm excited. I'm leaning in on education."

McAuliffe's marquee policy proposal is raising teacher pay to above the national average. Currently it ranks near the bottom of pay.

Crystal Hamlin, is teacher. She's a bit of an outlier at the rally because she prefers to vote on election day because of the excitement. She decided early on that she wanted to vote for McAuliffe but was interested in what he had to say at the rally, which filled up a Henrico backyard with Richmond-area Democratic figures and supporters that are preparing to knock on doors.

1.1 million Virginians have already voted, but they’re here to get a boost from McAuliffe before they make a final push knocking doors.

Polls open at 6 in the morning and close at 7 at night.

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