Gillespie-Northam Final 2017 Virginia Gubernatorial Debate Monday at UVa Wise

The University of Virginia’s College at Wise, the Southwestern Virginia Technology Council, and the University of Virginia’s Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy are co-hosting the last of three gubernatorial debates on Monday, October, 9, in the David J. Prior Convocation Center in Wise, Virginia.

Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrat Ralph Northam previously met to debate in July at The Homestead Resort in western Virginia, and in Northern Virginia in September. Monday will be the first debate of its kind to take place deep in Southwestern Virginia; others have taken place in Blacksburg.

Moderator for the event will be local anchor Paul Johnson from WCYB, and reporter Carmen Forman from the Roanoke Times will be asking questions. Issues to be covered will include topics of importance to rural Virginia as well as the rest of the Commonwealth.

There are issues unique to the southwestern part of the Old Dominion. Indeed, the Roanoke Times posed a number of questions in their Sunday editorial.

The debate will begin at 7:00 p.m. Those attending must have tickets to ensure seating for all who want to attend.

Coverage can be found on WCYB and other television outlets, and livestreamed at

If you’re going:

UVA Wise Gubernatorial Debate
7:00 p.m.
David J. Prior Convention Center
437 Stadium Drive
Wise, VA 24293

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  • old_redneck

    Here’s one of the questions posed by the Roanoake Times:

    “Most localities in rural Virginia are losing population, particularly
    young adults. That exodus is especially pronounced in the coalfields.
    The GO Virginia reports cited a shrinking labor pool in Southwest
    Virginia — especially skilled labor — as the region’s biggest impediment
    to economic growth. In fact, the report warns that some existing
    companies may leave if the labor pool continues to contract — so
    demography and the economy are inextricably linked. How would you
    encourage young adults to stay in Southwest Virginia, or rural areas in

    Maybe it’s time to admit the truth: There is nothing to keep young people in the coalfields or in any other rural area for that matter. Our schools should be preparing young people for the future, not for some mythical past.

    I live in Northumberland County — our over-65 population has increased from 30% in 2010 to 35% now while the young adult population is dropping like a rock. There’s nothing to keep young people here — farms are in the hands of a few families and it takes only 2-3 people to work thousands of acres — oystering, crabbing, fishing do not attract young people — and our Board of Supervisors is intent on keeping things as they were when the Supervisors were 18.

    Ditto for the coalfields. I worked in the coalfields for the Methodist Church, 1996 – 2005. I can’t tell you the number of young people I talked with at Berea College, UVA-Wise, Carson-Newman, Emory and Henry, ETSU, and other schools who told me as soon as they had a diploma in hand, they were hitting Hillbilly Highway and never looking back.

    • SJane

      Old Redneck, what you state is NOT unusual in rural counties across the US. Late 50’s many in rural counties in NoVA felt and said the same things, “hit the highway after grad” to something better than looking at cornfield, coal fields, and foxhunters.
      Today Virginia is dealing w/aging population in rural areas, smaller families and fewer children being born w/in families that will live and work in rural locals. Coal country and farm country counts on the young in families to be part and parcel of that life, and to assist w/jobs that the young can do….in my experience and to my knowledge.

    • mezurak

      Hitting the Hillbilly Highway has been a part of hill culture for a hundred years if not more. The difference now is that the ones that stay become meth farmers instead of family farmers.

  • old_redneck

    Barbara Comstock stiffs her constituents . . . again.

    Once again, Barbara Comstock has been caught on video running away
    from one of her constituents. This latest episode took place yesterday
    at the Clifton Day festival.

    It only takes 15 seconds before Comstock gets partisan and attacks
    her own constituent, saying, “I know you’re here politically today.”
    That’s a pretty lame attack for someone who spent the day campaigning
    with various house delegates at the same event.

    Comstock’s husband then takes the cue and proceeds to walk right in
    between Barbara and her constituent – while they’re in the middle of
    talking. We’ve seen his tactic before with staffers, but why pay staffers to run interference when your family will do it for free?

    Meanwhile, Comstock starts to shuffle away from her constituent. When
    he tries to follow her, she holds up a finger, and without looking him
    in the eye, tells him to “Just hold on a second.”

    The constituent persists, since he knows her next move will be to
    make a break for the exit without answering his question. He then asks
    her why she voted to allow greater access to guns for the mentally ill.

    Comstock tends to say the craziest things whenever she is running away from her constituents. This time she chose to flat out lie when she responded:

    “Well you know that’s not the case.”

    There are two possible explanations for this. The first is that she
    thinks we’re idiots and that nobody is aware of her public voting
    record. The second, and more likely explanation, is that she is afraid
    of having to explain her “A Rating” with the NRA.

    Comstock can deny it all she wants, but she has already voted twice
    this year to roll back Obama era regulations designed to prevent the
    mentally ill from getting access to firearms.

    Comstock voted on February 2 of this year, to repeal background checks for mentally ill social security beneficiaries

    Comstock voted on March 16 of this year, to give mentally ill veterans easier access to firearms.

    Those are just the votes she took to weaken background checks for the
    mentally ill. She’s taken dozens of extreme votes on guns, including
    voting to allow people on the terrorist watchlist to purchase firearms.

  • Richard Statman

    The Republican candidates seem to to
    Sleepwalking to what I believe is a sad end.
    IMO a perpetual campaign by Gillespie in which
    Policy positions come in a flurry , seem to leave
    The average person unmoved.
    A Lieutenant Governor candidate who seems
    To have not registered with women or Independents
    An Attorney General candidate running against a walking
    Target who remains IMO virtually unknown and unknowable.
    The lack of any passion about anything by this trio is
    An issue all by itself.
    Can’t imagine the polling gap will close .
    These candidates and their staffs , and advisors seem
    Lost in the current political , social and cultural landscape.
    Give me a reason to vote for you
    A few dollars off my taxes , endless talk about jobs,
    Telling me Mark Herring is a terrible public servant
    Or that women matter, really doesn’t cut it.
    These candidates seem poster children for what is wrong
    With the two party state of affairs today.
    About their opponents they seem sad as well.
    A system running out of gas , and off the tracks.

  • Craig Scott

    Not surprising, two statist birds of a feather…

    “BUSTED: Fake Republican @BillKristol’s Wife Caught Funding Democrat Candidate For Governor In Virginia”

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