October 13, 2005
With election day just 27 days away, two new ads released by the Kilgore camp have certainly stirred the pot. In those ads, Kilgore questions the manner in which Kaine, a devout Catholic, would handle future executions. A statement Kaine finds offensive.
"It's an insult to any person of faith. People of faith take oaths of office every day as lawmakers, police officers, judges, magistrates and they follow them," said Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Tim Kaine.
During last Sunday's debate, Kilgore brought forward Kaine's track record on the death penalty, saying he voluntarily represented killers during his days as an attorney. This is a position Kilgore fought against while Attorney General.
"But what I don't support is protecting the lives of those who have committed the most heinous crimes," said Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Jerry Kilgore.
Generally, the death penalty is not amongst the top five issues are concerned with during a campaign. However, political analyst Matt Smyth says it can be a rallying point for each candidate's base.
"The death penalty falls into the hot button social issues category. Issues like abortion, gun control or gay rights," Smyth said.
Even with all of this talk, Smyth believes the death penalty debate will make little difference.
"It is not going to make a big difference in the undecided vote right now unless everything else ends up being equal," he said.
Both candidates are bringing out the big guns for this last month of the campaign. Kilgore will be attending several events with both First Lady Laura Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, while Kaine has landed former President Bill Clinton to headline two of his events. One of those events that Clinton will be attending is right here in Charlottesville next Friday.