5 Democrats running for Virginia governor to meet for debate

By Sarah Rankin, The Associated Press

Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax looks over a briefing book prior to the start of a senate session in this 2019 file photo. (Photo Credit: AP)

The five Democrats seeking the party’s nomination for Virginia governor are set to meet for the first televised debate of the primary season.

Former Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, Del. Lee Carter, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, former Gov. Terry McAuliffe and state Sen. Jennifer McClellan will take the stage for an hour-long debate Tuesday night at Virginia State University.

The candidates have been appearing at forums and other campaign events, and four of the five recently participated in an online debate hosted by progressive advocacy groups. But Tuesday night’s event will offer the first chance for a statewide, televised audience to hear from the entire crowded field.

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe holds a briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington in this 2017 file photo. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The Democratic primary is June 8. Voters will also be choosing the party’s nominees for attorney general and lieutenant governor. In some cases there will also be contested primary races for House of Delegates seats.

After months of infighting over the process, Republicans opted to choose their candidates through a convention May 8 with voting sites across the state.

Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam cannot seek re-election because state law bars governors from serving consecutive terms.

The debate will be broadcast online as well as on four TV stations across the state: WTVR, WJLA, WTKR and WSET.