The Democratic candidates for Virginia lieutenant governor faced off Sunday in Springfield, nine days ahead of the party’s primary, each trying to distinguish himself from the Republican ticket and to create distance between each other on issues such as gun rights and climate change.
While candidates Aneesh Chopra and state Sen. Ralph Northam (Norfolk) were in agreement about their vision for the state’s second-highest office — from Medicaid expansion and equal rights for gay citizens to women’s health care — Chopra said Northam’s voting record does not reflect a commitment to strengthening gun laws.
Northam challenged that assertion, touting his D rating from the National Rifle Association.
“They’re not a big fan of mine,” Northam said, referring to the NRA. “They don’t even bother coming through my door. I have a good record on gun violence and I will continue to be outspoken.”
The Fairfax County Democratic Committee sponsored the hour-long debate ahead of the June 11 primary, which also will determine the Democratic candidate for attorney general. Businessman Terry McAuliffe is the Democratic gubernatorial candidate.