The debate has started over the number of debates for the 2017 Virginia gubernatorial race, according to a Washington Post op-ed. Democratic nominee Ralph Northam dismissed his Republican opponent’s proposal of 10 debates as a “publicity stunt,” and Republican nominee Ed Gillespie called Northam’s counter-offer of three debates “insulting.”
The author prescribes a remedy: include Libertarian candidate Cliff Hyra in those debates. From the July 6 article:
“Both candidates are correct. This is a public relations stunt, as Northam said, and a very old, tired one at that. It is also insulting, but not in the way Gillespie meant.
“The insult is that gubernatorial debates in Virginia are little more than smaller versions of the carefully packaged affairs we’ve all witnessed at the national level.
“What people watch for and what the press and political junkies delight in are those ‘gotcha’ moments that make for great copy and easy attack lines.
“But let’s indulge Gillespie on his demand for many debates…. Let’s have 10 debates.
“But let’s also insist on a couple of things.
- That all the debates be televised and carried during prime-time viewing hours so that voters can watch and form their opinions in real time.
- That the debates — every single one of them — include the libertarian candidate, Cliff Hyra.
“Hyra campaign director John Vaught LaBeaume told me that his candidate ‘would be willing to participate in any and all debates or forums that both the Democratic and Republican candidates agree to take part in.’”
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