Virginia governor’s race: McAuliffe, Youngkin to debate

GRUNDY, Va. (AP) — Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin are set to square off in Virginia’s first gubernatorial debate of the general election season, in a race that is being closely watched as a possible indicator of voter sentiment heading into the 2022 national midterm elections.
The two candidates are set to meet Thursday night at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, a tiny town in conservative southwest Virginia. It’s the first of two gubernatorial debates to be held before the Nov. 2 election. The second debate is planned for Sept. 28 at a community college in liberal-leaning northern Virginia.
Thursday’s hourlong debate will be moderated by Susan Page, the Washington bureau chief of USA Today. Page will be joined by panelists Bob Holsworth, a well-known Virginia political analyst, and Candace Burns, an anchor for CBS 6 News in Richmond.
McAuliffe served as Virginia’s governor from 2014 to 2018. Youngkin, the former co-chief executive of The Carlyle Group, a private equity firm, is a political newcomer. In Virginia, governors are not allowed to serve consecutive terms.
The first debate will be held the day before early in-person voting begins at local voter registration offices. Due to COVID-19 precautions, a limited number of tickets will be given out to members of the law school and local communities. The event will be broadcast on several networks and will be live-streamed on the law school’s YouTube channel.