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First debate in governor’s race still uncertain

Terry McAuliffe (left) and Glenn Youngkin (right)
Terry McAuliffe (left) and Glenn Youngkin (right)(Associated Press)
Published: Jul. 7, 2021 at 7:25 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - The first debate between Republican Glenn Youngkin and Democrat Terry McAuliffe is still up in the air, just over two weeks from the traditional start of the debate season here in Virginia.

Since 1985, the Virginia Bar Association has hosted the first debate of the general election campaign in the race for governor. The group meets later this month at the Homestead.

McAuliffe has accepted the organization’s invitation. He said Youngkin is ducking the debate.

“I accepted a long time ago,” McAuliffe told WDBJ7 in an interview Wednesday afternoon. “Glenn Youngkin refuses to accept the VBA debate, which as you know, Joe, has gone on for 36 years. This is a time-honored tradition.”

Youngkin spokesperson Macaulay Porter released the following statement in response:

“Terry McAuliffe’s dishonesty continues, and now it appears he is trying to sabotage our ongoing communications with the VBA. We look forward to getting to a resolution soon.”

Wednesday afternoon, a representative of the Virginia Bar Association said the organization couldn’t confirm whether it will be hosting the debate July 24, but said officials remain optimistic.

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