RICHMOND - Today, Democratic nominee for Lt. Governor Jody Wagner challenged Bill Bolling to a series of debates across the Commonwealth, to present voters with a clear choice in November. Wagner has called for one debate per month for the remainder of the campaign, each taking place in a different region of Virginia. The format and rules would be agreed upon by the two candidates and campaigns.This is very interesting since both Mike Signer and Jon Bowerbank had wanted a series of debates to take place all across the Commonwealth but she never even responded to the request and instead insisted on having only one. During that one debate none of the candidates had an overwhelming performance as there was even some discussion about the exact number of months that Mike Signer worked for the Warner administration.
In a letter sent to Bolling, Wagner said: "I believe it's important that voters have a clear understanding of both candidates, including our records, priorities, and visions for the future. I believe voters throughout the Commonwealth deserve to hear from both of us, so they're able to make informed decisions in November about the direction they believe is best for Virginia. I look forward to engaging in a constructive dialog over the next five months, and hope you'll join me in these debates."
With that in mind, there seems to be some questions about why Wagner is suddenly changing her mind on the prospect of having a series of debates. Perhaps the most obvious answer is that she was the frontrunner in the Democratic primary and frontrunners often times don't want to give their opponents any more attention than they need. Now that Wagner is going up against an incumbent, however, she wants to do whatever it takes to get some attention and increase her name recognition.
The fact that Wagner has so quickly changed her tone on debates clearly suggests that this is a strategic move that's part of her overall strategy. As long as she's not planning to play gotcha politics like she tried to do during the televised debate during the primary, however, then this political tactic would actually benefit the general public. After all, people deserve to hear directly from the candidates about where they stand on the issues. So lets hope that this political strategy actually turns into a productive discussion that benefits all Virginians and not just Jody Wagner's campaign.