The campaigns of Creigh Deeds, Brian Moran, and Terry McAuliffe announced yesterday that the candidates will debate five times around the Commonwealth - April 19 in Williamsburg, April 23 in Hampton, April 28 in Danville, April 29 in Blacksburg, and May 19 in Annandale. Details and formats of the debates are still being debated. They've also agree to several joint appearances - again, none in the Valley.
Nearly a dozen local Democratic committees in the Shenandoah Valley, led by Rockingham and Harrisonburg, had been working for a couple months to bring the candidates to a forum/debate at JMU. Apparently they've been stiffed. A quick glance at the locations shows the first two debates only about 20 miles apart while voters in big regions of the state, including the Shenandoah Valley and central Virginia, are left to read about it in the newspaper.
It is interesting that areas in which Senator Creigh Deeds is best known, the Valley and Charlottesville, will not host a debate. Could it be the Moran and McAuliffe campaigns were a bit chicken about giving Creigh the podium in front of a friendly home crowd? Cluck!
The primary is June 9. There is plenty of opportunity within the schedule and time before the primary for the campaigns to agree to a couple more debates in other areas of the state. Lots of Democrats hope they will do it!