RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond’s Democratic candidates for governor held a debate in Richmond Tuesday night.
Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam and former Congressman Tom Perriello are each vying to be their party’s nominee.
Topics ranged from immigration to health care, the opioid crisis and the rising cost of college tuition and fees in Virginia, which is up 71 percent at public four-year schools since 2007.
“To just say repeal and replace is not the answer,” Northam said. “We need to make sure that all Virginians have access to affordable and quality health care. That’s why there’s no better time than right now to have a doctor at the table and make sure that that happens.”
“What we saw happen last week in Congress was a travesty,” Perriello added. “It took us back 10 years in giving back power to the insurance companies to be able to deny people care effectively based on pre-existing conditions. To be able to greatly increase premiums and undermine the essential benefits package, I was proud to vote for in the Affordable Care Act.”
Northam also blasted former Perriello over his conservative congressional voting record while Perriello criticized Northam for twice voting for former President George W. Bush.
The two got into a testy exchange where Northam said Perriello should not throw stones from a “glass house” while Perriello said Northam was making false and “sad” attacks.
Northam cast himself as a realist who knows how to score progressive victories in a state where Republicans control the General Assembly. Perriello said Democrats are hungry for bold ideas, like raising taxes on the wealthy to pay for programs and services to help the working class.
Tuesday’s debate was the third for the candidates. They’ll face off twice more before the primary election on June 13.