AG Candidates React to First Debate

The two men who want to be Virginia’s next attorney general are today reacting to their first debate — a face-off which nearly didn’t happen.

A controversy about public access to the debate almost de-railed the event, which was sponsored by the state bar association.

Democratic nominee Steve Shannon’s campaign wanted Republican Ken Cuccinelli to make a “no-use” agreement that would have prevented both sides from using video clips of the debate in campaign materials.

Cuccinelli was adamantly opposed to the agreement. The two sides eventually reached a compromise that allows the use of video on campaign Web sites, specifically unedited responses.

So, with that piece of business behind them, the two candidates got down to business this morning in Virginia Beach.

Afterward, Cuccinelli slammed his rival.

“Virginians will be surprised to learn that not only will Steve Shannon not take positions on important issues but that if and when he does, he will almost assuredly change them,” Cuccinelli said in a statement. 

The GOP nominee focused on Shannon’s business record, saying business-related issues will be important as Washington continues to “encroach on states rights.”

Shannon’s campaign manager, Roman Levit, said the debate “revealed profound differences” between the two men.

Levit said Cuccinelli “struggled to explain his support for the ‘triggerman rule'” that restricts who prosectuors can charge in homicides where more than one person is involved but only one actually does the killing.

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