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First Click -- Virginia

Sandhya Somashekhar

Good morning Virginia, here's what's happening in state politics today.

R. Creigh Deeds (D) and Robert F. McDonnell (R) face off today in a much-anticipated debate before Northern Virginia's business community, to be moderated by David Gregory of "Meet the Press." A lot is at stake today for both gubernatorial candidates, as McDonnell seeks to move beyond the thesis that has dominated headlines in recent weeks and Deeds aims to overcome the unfriendly atmosphere for Democrats nationally.

Among the issues likely to come up: labor unions, which have contributed about $1.4 million to Deeds, but whose uneasy relationship with the business community complicate Deeds' effort to win over that crucial constituency.

Another likely topic: transportation. Northern Virginia's road problems have so far taken a back seat to national issues in the governor's race, but fixing gridlock -- which has worsened recently because of the HOT lanes project -- has been a key priority of the business community, which it views as vital to the region's economic health.

Let's not forget the state's budget woes, which will result in hundreds of layoffs.

Anita Kumar explores some other questions to consider.

By Sandhya Somashekhar  |  September 17, 2009; 8:13 AM ET
Categories:  Creigh Deeds , Debates , Election 2009 , First Click , Robert F. McDonnell , Sandhya Somashekhar , Timothy M. Kaine , Virginia Notebook  
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who are the 3rd party candidates? these two parties suck.

Posted by: millionea7 | September 17, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

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