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With business elite, debate has huge 'oops' factor

Monday - 9/23/2013, 7:19pm  ET

AP Political Writer

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Of all the debates statewide candidates can't neglect, Wednesday's Fairfax Chamber of Commerce's showdown is at the top of the list.

You don't say no to the captains of the most esteemed, politically attuned, wealthy and influential business demographic in Virginia's most populous and prosperous region -- the Washington, D.C., suburbs.

This debate has produced at least three memorable moments the past eight years that have, at least, clarified major elections if not provided pivotal moments on the final approach to election day.

In 2005, Republican Jerry Kilgore got tripped up in a bid to avoid a hypothetical abortion clinic and evoked peals of laughter. A year later, Republican George Allen fumbled a question about his mom's heritage. In 2009, Democrat Creigh Deeds flubbed reporters' post-debate questions about taxes.

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