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VA Senate Candidates Kick Off Debates - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

VA Senate Candidates Kick Off Debates

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One of the hottest Senate races in the nation is in Virginia.  Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican George Allen faced off Thursday afternoon in Fairfax for the first of three televised debates.

The debate, which took place at the Capital One bank's headquarters in McLean, focused on Kaine and Allen's proposed solutions to economic problems.

The former governors are in a close race, but according to two polls the Washington Post reported, Kaine is now in the lead.  The host of NBC's "Meet the Press", David Gregory, moderated the debate.  Kaine says he has a simple and specific idea on how to deal with year-end budget cuts, while Allen focused on cost-saving.

"We will let the Bush tax cuts expire as planned for people making more than $500,000, we will fix Medicare so we can negotiate to get better prices on prescription drugs, we will let the tax subsidies to the big five oil companies expire," Kaine said.

Allen said, "I think we ought to embrace the ideas that come from federal government employees and reward them with bonuses for cost-saving ideas, and the long-term solution is not these Band-Aids but a balanced budget amendment."

The candidates will square off again in Richmond on October 8.  They will then head to Virginia Tech to debate on October 18.

Reported by Molly Balkenbush

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