Final stretch: Gubernatorial candidates push platforms ahead of Election Day

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia is two months away from electing its next governor.

Democrat Ralph Northam, Republican Ed Gillespie and Libertarian Cliff Hyra are in the last leg of the campaign trail.

Northam said it’s a busy time.

“A lot of enthusiasm,” he said. “A lot of excitement.”

Gillespie said campaigning can mean 16-hour days.

“It’s from, you know, 6:30 in the morning until 10:30 at night. I enjoy it,” he said. “I say there’s no rest for the weary, but I’m not weary. I’m energized.”

Hyra said his team is kicking into high gear.

“The intensity is going to be higher, the interest is going to be higher and voters are going to be more engaged,” he said.

Recent polls have shown Northam in the lead but Gillespie within striking distance.

“This is a tight race. It’s going to be close until the end,” said the Republican.

Hyra has been polling in the single digits.

“The big number for us was the number of people who didn’t have enough information about me to form an opinion,” he said. “The big thing for us is to get our message out to as many people as possible.”

We asked each candidate the top three things they want voters to know before Election Day.

Northam said all Virginians deserve a good, high-paying job, a world-class education and access to affordable and quality health care.

“This is something that’s very important to me as a physician,” the Democrat said.

Gillespie wants voters to know about his detailed plans like improving public schools, making communities safer and creating jobs.

“I have plans to get Virginia growing again, to create more than 53,000 new, additional, full-time, private sector, good-paying jobs — a 25 percent increase over current projections,” he said.

For Hyra, he wants to push tax savings for the average Virginia family.

“I’m talking about exempting the first $60,000 of household income from the state income tax. That’s a saving of $3,000 a year for the average family,” he said.

His other top two focuses are reforming drug laws and the criminal justice system and cutting regulations that stifle small business formation and expansion.

The last day to register to vote is October 16.

Election Day is November 7.