Virginia Democrats have agreed to hold five debates before the June 9th gubernatorial primary.
The campaigns of Brian Moran, Terry McAuliffe, and Creigh Deeds announced the agreement this week, although they did say that some minor details still need to be ironed out.
The five debates will take place in Williamsburg on April 19th, April 23rd in Hampton, April 28th in Danville and May 19th in Annandale, and April 29th at Virginia Tech. The May 19th Annandale debate will take place at the Northern Virginia Community College.
We also learned that the April 29 debate at Virginia Tech will be organized by The Collegiate Times, the liberal Web site Huffington Post and the blogs Not Larry Sabato and Firedoglake. Not surprisingly they didn't ask the Virginia Gentleman to organize the debate.
Ordinarily, debates are uneventful, boring affairs, with candidates simply trying to avoid making mistakes, but this race is wide open, and these debates may be very significant. A strong performance, or one big gaffe, may make all the difference. It will also be interesting to see how Moran and McAuliffe interact. Do they keep attacking each other, or does each try to ignore the other and take the high ground. Their mutual dislike is so strong that I have to believe they will prepare for five aggressive and negative debates.
These debates may also provide a golden opportunity for Creigh Deeds to breakout, and rise above the bickering and negativity of McAuliffe and Moran.
These debates may decide who becomes the Democrat nominee.