Final Gubernatorial Debate

By: Lindsay Puccio
By: Lindsay Puccio

October 9, 2005

Many voters may have picked their candidate for governor after Sunday night's gubernatorial debate. It was a race to the finish for both Tim Kaine and Jerry Kilgore.

"We welcome to this debate, Democratic candidate for Governor Tim Kaine and Republican candidate for Governor Jerry Kilgore," said Larry Sabato, of UVA Center for Politics.

Round after round, question after question Sabato drilled them on everything from the death penalty, to taxes, to abortion, and getting very different responses from both.

Kilgore supports pro-life, while Kaine does not. As Kaine pointed out there has never been a Catholic Governor but if elected he said his decisions as Governor would not come solely from his religion.

"I'm not going to apologize for my religious beliefs but I can be trusted to follow my oath of office even though I'm Catholic just like anybody else can," said Kaine.

When it comes to the death penalty Kaine said it's wrong while Kilgore vigorously supports the death penalty and 'culture of life'.

"How is supporting a decision to kill consistent with believing in a culture of life?" asked a member of the public.

"I support protecting innocent life at the beginning and at the end of life, but what I don't support is protecting the lives of those who committed the most heinous crimes," said Kilgore.

Kilgore has also campaigned that if elected Kaine would raise the gas tax, which Kaine said is not entirely true.

"I do not think we should eliminate the gas tax for a few months for this reason - the gas tax pays for our roads, it pays for public transit and people need them to get to work," said Kaine.

After a full hour of questioning Sabato wanted to leave on a positive note, asking each of the candidates to pledge to cut their negative ad campaigns in half from now on. But he didn't quite get the response he wanted.

"We'll be doing comparative ads as we go through these final few weeks," said Kilgore. "Okay so your answer is no," said Sabato. "Mr. Kaine?" Kaine elect to just say yes.

Although the debate is over, the race continues as each candidate has 29 days to persuade voters to elect one of them the next governor of Virginia.

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