Monday night was a first for Virginia's candidates for governor as Democrat Creigh Deeds and Republican Bob McDonnell met for a live, televised debate in Richmond.
The debate was hosted by AARP and the Virginia League of Women Voters. Both candidates spoke candidly about issues, especially jobs.
"This election really is about, here in Virginia this year, is job creation and economic development," says McDonnell
From the beginning, McDonnell and Deeds made it clear that most of the issues in this campaign are being driven by one force.
"I said on the day I announced I was running for this office and I said again on the night I was nominated, that I'm running for governor to create opportunity prosperity and hope in every part of Virginia," says Deeds.
Both candidates agree job creation starts with innovation and education and in places like the Shenandoah Valley.
"The fact is there's just not that much money in farming any more and there aren't that many people out there producing in agriculture any more and there aren't incentives for young people to get involved," says Deeds. "We need to do several things. At the state level, we need to do a better job of marketing our products worldwide."
McDonnell says, "I've traveled around the rural parts of the state and detailed a rural economic development plan to be able to help farmers. I can tell you one thing they can't sustain, though, that's more new taxes and more new regulation."
Moderator Judy Woodruff questioned the candidates on workplace rights. Deeds and McDonnell agreed to support a law banning wage discrimination.
Woodruff asked if the candidates would promise to select women for half of their cabinet positions, if elected.
"My administration will be the most diverse in our country's history and I will commit to appointing the best people I can find to each of those positions and I can't imagine that my administration or my cabinet would be less than 50 percent women," Deeds said.
McDonnell's college thesis critical of women in the workplace was not mentioned.
"I would say it's critically important that we have an administration that reflects the outstanding talent of men and women in Virginia," comments McDonnell.