Republican VA Gov. candidate Ed Gillespie stops in Danville for Informed Decisions tour
DANVILLE, Va. (WSET) -- Voters in the Commonwealth will choose a new Governor in less than two months. The election takes place Tuesday, November 7th.
Republican Candidate Ed Gillespie took a trip to the Southside Monday evening to talk community members there during his Informed Decisions tour.
The town hall took place inside the Danville Institute for Advanced Learning and Research.
Ed Gillespie said he wanted an opportunity to talk to people from southern Virginia and hear what their concerns are in the gubernatorial election.
"I decided it would be helpful to get out and actually talk to folks so that voters could make an informed decision about the next governorship," Gillespie said as he walked across the stage.
He said he agreed to partake in 10 debates across the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Ralph Northam only agreed to three debates with Gillespie.
Confederate monuments, plans to better education and his stance on sanctuary cities were some of the questions that came up during the town hall.
One woman from the crowd asked, "Where do you stand on our confederate monuments?"
"We need to learn from our history, and we need to teach our history, not erase our history," Gillespie said. "My view is we need to keep the monuments up, put them in historical context and educate about them and not tear them down. And my opponent has a different view."
To attend Gillespie's town hall, people had to register online and tickets were distributed by a lottery system. His website states that they chose to use a lottery system for each town hall due to anticipated interest and limited seating.
Kevin Donohoe is the press secretary of the Democratic party of Virginia.
He was told by those in charge of the event that he not allowed to attend the forum.
"I think it's ironic that Ed Gillespie is holding an Informed Decisions tour because he is not letting Virginians make an informed decision when they go to the ballot," Donohoe said. "He won't tell us his position on the Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill, which would take healthcare away from more than 800,000 Virginians."
We asked Gillespie his position on the Graham-Cassidy bill.
"We're not going to be able to count on Washington D.C. to solve our problems for us when it comes to health care," he said. "Obviously whatever they do is going to have an impact in terms of federal overlay, but we need to come forward with our own policies and I'm doing that. I'm going to come forward with a plan that will help incentivize greater competition in the insurance markets and the provider markets."
Gillsepie said there are too many counties [in Virginia] with no insurer or single insurer right now, which is no competition.
He explains his plan is to fix that with policies that will help Virginians at the state level.
The next gubernatorial debate will take place at The University of Virginia-Wise on October 9th.
This will be the third and final debate between Northam and Gillespie.
Here is a full statement from the Northam campaign press secretary Ofirah Yheskel:
Ed Gillespie has made every effort to ensure that voters aren't informed about his fiscally irresponsible, phony math tax plan to benefit millionaires and billionaires at the expense of state priorities like education, healthcare, and transportation. After two of these events and a flip-flop on the debate stage last week, it's still not clear where Gillespie stands on the Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill, which would put the healthcare of over 800,000 Virginians at risk and make coverage cost more and cover less. Voters are also unlikely to hear about his support for Medicaid block grants, which would further shift the cost of healthcare onto Virginians and leave the commonwealth in an even more vulnerable position. That's inexcusable, and as governor, Dr. Ralph Northam has made it clear that he will fight to protect Virginians' access to quality and affordable healthcare, as well as our commitment to fiscal responsibility.