BY WESLEY P. HESTER
Former Gov. George Allen, the Republican U.S. Senate nominee, has agreed to three fall debates with former Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, the Democratic nominee.
The new debates will be Sept. 20 in McLean, sponsored by the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce; Oct. 8 in Richmond, hosted by the AARP, League of Women Voters Virginia, WVCE Public Radio and WTVR CBS 6; and Oct. 18 in Blacksburg, hosted by WSLS NBC 10 TV and Virginia Tech.
Kaine had already accepted invitations to those debates, and others.
“We’ve accepted eight broadcast debates across Virginia, including these three,” said Brandi Hoffine, communications director for Kaine for Virginia. “We’re hopeful that there will be more so that as many Virginians as possible have the opportunity to hear directly from the candidates, but we’re looking forward to these three.”
An Allen campaign spokeswoman said that five debates between the candidates would be sufficient. Allen and Kaine have already debated twice — last December at AP Day at the Capitol and last month at The Homestead, a session sponsored by the Virginia Bar Association.
Allen participated in three GOP debates before he won the party’s nomination in a June primary.
“George Allen has welcomed this election’s debate opportunities to contrast his vision and record with that of Tim Kaine,” said Mike Thomas, Allen’s campaign manager.