Gillespie, Northam clash in first gubernatorial debate

From left to right: Ed Gillespie, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam

HOT SPRINGS, Va. (AP) — The two major party candidates in Virginia’s closely watched race for governor clashed at their first debate over President Donald Trump, healthcare, immigration, and social issues.

Republican Ed Gillespie said he doesn’t always support Trump’s policies, but is willing to work with the president on issues important to Virginia, such as military spending.

Democrat Ralph Northam said Trump is a “dangerous” man. Northam said Gillespie has been conspicuously silent in criticizing Trump’s policies on healthcare and immigration that Northam said hurt Virginians.

The two also highlighted their differences on a variety of issues.

Northam, the state’s lieutenant governor, touted his support of abortion rights and gun control. Gillespie, former Republican National Committee chairman, said he supports fewer restrictions on businesses, including on energy-related issues like hydraulic fracturing and off-shore drilling.