(UPDATE: NLS has more here on the “Disgrace.” – promoted by lowkell)
(photo courtesy of Fairfax Young Democrats) Just left the Great Falls debate. Unlike the first debate that was really more of a forum, the candidates definitely engaged each other this time.
Barbara started out negative by lying about Jaime’s record with Sen. Whipple and repeating the whisper campaign that he was just an intern. Jaime did an excellent job rebutting this by reading directly from Senator Whipple’s “Whipple Report,” where Senator Whipple herself stated that he was her Policy Advisor and went on to give specific examples of what he did as the Policy Advisor where he was only one of two non-Senators present at various meetings. Barbara — will you publicly retract your statement and tell your campaign to do so now that Whipple herself wrote that he was her Policy Advisor?
Jaime did a great job of pointing out differences between the two and had much better control of the issues. For example, Favola, despite having the endorsement of the Women’s Campaign Forum, got her facts wrong on the legislative history of protecting pro-choice rights. Jaime corrected her error and also pointed out that Favola has refused to be clear on her position on supporting Sen. Phil Puckett, who does not support a women’s right to choose, for caucus chair.
In her closing, Barbara focused on Jaime’s campaign mailers, lied about calling Jaime a Republican, and then stormed off and refused to shake hands (I hope someone has video of this). She continues to be blind and refuses to address the fact that there is an appearance of impropriety, which is why she should resign from the Board, or at least return the money.
Overall, a great performance for Jaime that should reinforce why he is the better candidate.
UPDATE #1 by Lowell: Catherine Read reports, “Favola used her closing arguments to call Jaime a liar and then refused to shake his hand at the conclusion of the forum. Did I drop the “B” word? Oh yes I did! BAD FORM! Doesn’t reflect well on those that endorsed her either.” Rebecca Jaramillo adds, “It was a shocking moment in Virginia politics. People were walking around, looking like lost souls. And Favola’s “interns” were sitting in their chairs, wondering what the heck to do! They finally left — and left all their campaign material. Weird.”
UPDATE #2 by Lowell: Catherine Read adds, “…Jaime Areizaga-Soto did a great job in his opening statement. Favola was characteristically arrogant in dismissing Jaime’s work in Richmond – which seems to be her core campaign strategy. Jaime countered her deftly using Whipple’s own title of advisor.”
UPDATE #3 by Lowell: The Virginia Partisans – LGBT Dems of VA have endorsed Jaime for Senate.
In this race we have two candidates who we know will vote on the side of equality and serve the LGBT community well. Jaime Areizaga-Soto stands out, however, for making equality a core part of his campaign from its inception. He has demonstrated that our issues are a top priority and he will focus on them while serving his constituents in Richmond. In addition, as a member of the Latino community, Jaime offers a unique perspective that is very much similar to that of our own community.