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Kaine, Stewart Prepare to Face Off in Debates

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., and Republican challenger Corey Stewart are set to appear in three televised debates. (Wikimedia Commons/Trimmel Gomes)
U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., and Republican challenger Corey Stewart are set to appear in three televised debates. (Wikimedia Commons/Trimmel Gomes)
July 19, 2018

RICHMOND, Va. – Outside of trading jabs on social media, Virginians soon will get to see Sen. Tim Kaine and his Republican Party challenger Corey Stewart go face-to-face in televised debates.

On issues such as Russian interference in U.S. elections, Stewart remains a strong supporter of President Donald Trump's attempts to normalize relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin while Kaine, like many Democrats, continues to be an outspoken critic, arguing that leaders that divide shouldn't be tolerated.

The candidates offer stark differences on issues such as gun control, immigration and abortion rights.

Jim Dau, state director of AARP Virginia, says AARP has been a supporter of The People's Debate for more than a decade because it's important for the people to know how they will be represented.

"Since 2006, AARP Virginia has been sponsoring this debate exactly so to make sure that candidates are hearing about questions we know are important based on what we're hearing from our members and residents all across the Commonwealth," Dau states.

Kaine and Stewart will be featured Saturday in a candidate forum sponsored by the Virginia Bar Association, followed by another debate Sept. 26 by the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce.

They'll meet again on Oct. 2 in the studio of Virginia Public Television in collaboration with WTVR-CBS 6.

Kaine is seeking a second six-year term and was favored by 54 percent of voters in a June Quinnipiac University poll to Stewart's 36 percent. The rest didn't know or wouldn't say who they supported.

Dau hopes the debate will help provide those voters with information they need to make a decision.

"This year, we expect candidates to be able to answer questions that we know are important on topics including Social Security, Medicare, prescription drug costs and affordable quality health care for everybody," he states.

Other candidates who meet eligibility requirements will be able to participate in The People's Debate.

A candidate must have a minimum of 15 percent voter support in at least one poll conducted by news media or another independent organization within 45 days of the event.

Trimmel Gomes, Public News Service - VA