Republican candidates in Virginia’s gubernatorial race meet at forum

Updated: Apr. 19, 2021 at 11:39 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Five Republicans, each working to become Virginia’s next governor, took to the stage at Liberty University to discuss what makes them the best choice on Monday night.

“How many of you are ready for a new governor?” asked state Sen. Amanda Chase, who received applause from the conservative crowd.

After Democrats held the governor’s mansion for much of the last two decades, the candidates argued why they should earn the votes of Virginia Republicans.

“We keep losing because we have not kept track of the demographic changes in northern Virginia, which is necessary to win,” said Sergio de la Peña.

Peter Doran said, “Out of all the candidates, I’m the only one who’s put together a winning, conservative vision.”

Chase and state Del. Kirk Cox, both members of the state legislature, touted their experience as why they are the best choice.

The candidates agreed on many of the issues, from 2nd Amendment protections to criticism of Democrats’ COVID measures.

“Schools are going to be open, businesses are going to be open, our houses of worship are going to be open,” Glenn Youngkin said.

They also all spoke out against teaching critical race theory in schools. It’s among the reasons Chase chose to homeschool her kids.

“I believe that God should be put back in our public education,” she said.

Chase also said she wants to take away funding from any teacher or school teaching similar projects. Youngkin said it’s among the reasons he’s pushing for an increase in the number of charter schools.

Cox ultimately said his record at the ballot box is what makes him the right choice.

“I come from the bluest Republican district in the state - at least 30% minority,” he said. “And I was able to win that.”

The Republican nominating convention is set for May 8th. The five candidates who took part in this forum, plus Octavia Johnson and Pete Snyder, will be on the ballot.

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