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Showdown in Annandale

Rosalind Helderman

The stakes couldn't be higher for today's Democratic gubernatorial debate, sponsored by the Washington Post.

The debate, which will be held in front of a live audience of Northern Virginia Community College students and others at the Annandale campus of the school, will offer all three candidates a final chance to distinguish themselves on issues--and an opportunity to speak directly to Northern Virginians.

There may be more Democrats up here than in anywhere else in the state, but because the television market is so expensive, voters hear directly from the candidates far less often than in RoVa. You'll be able to watch the debate live here starting at 2 p.m. It will also air this evening at 8 p.m. on News Channel 8.

If the previous four debates are any measure, look for former delegate Brian Moran to be on the offensive, attempting to prove that Terry McAuliffe is an upstart who is not business-savvy optimist he claims to be.

McAuliffe's most commonly repeated phrase may well be "business plan"--that's his name for his blueprint for Virginia posted on his website and he uses it to try he's serious about governing, try to reassure voters who might fear he's a partisan hack.

Deeds, meanwhile, could look to try to assure progressive Northern Virginians that he can represent them too, though he hails from rural Virginia and boasts a fairly conservative voting record.

We'll be offering lots of coverage of this event, the last head-to-head meeting of the candidates before the June 9 primary, including a live blog from NVCC and fact checking of the candidates' claims.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  May 19, 2009; 10:41 AM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Brian J. Moran , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Rosalind Helderman , Terry McAuliffe  
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I don't see that Deeds has to worry so much about looking progressive to Northern Virginians. There are plenty of conservative Democrats. McAuliffe and Moran can fight over the progressives up there. Then there is the rest of the state where Deeds will do just fine by being himself. I suspect crossover repubs will be in a quandary trying to decide who is the weakest candidate to face McDonnell.

Posted by: rjma1 | May 19, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Consider this. Terry McAuliffe has NEVER held elective office. Do Virginians want a Governor who has no experience working with a legislature and who receives the overwhelming proportion of his campaign funding from outside the Old Dominion?

Brian Moran has spent 20 years in the VA legislature building relationships on both sides of the aisle. It's pretty clear which one could carry the state in the general election; it's not Mr. McAuliffe.

Posted by: mary-jocooney | May 20, 2009 12:07 AM | Report abuse

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