Democrats in Va. gov. race debate transportation, education costs

WASHINGTON — Attacks on President Donald Trump, expansion of education programs and access to health care drew the most animated responses from the two Virginia Democrats running for governor during their final debate before the June 13 primary.

During the debate, which aired Sunday on NBC Washington, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam and former Rep. Tom Perriello also addressed transportation in Northern Virginia.

Northam said the state has “gone overboard on tolling.” He also said that Virginia must work with D.C. and Maryland to address traffic problems or the economy would suffer, he warned. He supports Northern Virginia’s push to set a floor on the regional gas tax similar to the one that exists for the statewide gas tax.

Perriello called Northern Virginia traffic a national security threat, which will require tough choices including finding more money.

The candidates each have plans to expand pre-K programs across the state and to help address the financial burden of a college education. Each said they want to increase access to workforce training programs.

The winner of the June 13 open Democratic primary will face the winner of the Republican primary in November.

The GOP candidates for governor are state Sen. Frank Wagner, Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart and former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie.

Voters will also select a nominee for lieutenant governor. Voters in some areas, where nominees have not already been decided, will also vote in primary races for House of Delegates seats. All 100 House seats are up for election in November.

Watch the debate:

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