Shields, O’Bannon spar in District 73 debate
The race for the House of Delegates seat in the 73rd district, which encompasses parts of the City of Richmond and Henrico has become emblematic of the larger war being fought over control of the chamber.
Tom Shields is a new face, carrying a democratic moniker of change and fresh leadership that he is hoping still resonates in the wake of Barack Obama‘s powerful win. Shields is getting quite a bit of support from state Democratic party leaders and if successful, would represent a major pickup for the left.
Incumbent, John O’Bannon, a republican, refuses to accept that his 30 years in the community can be swept away with just a little bit of effort in one election cycle. He reminded me last night that he beat a field of 6 candidates to capture the seat originally and he is more than capable of beating back this opponent as well.
I spoke briefly with both candidates prior to their debate last night at the University of Richmond, but had to leave before the debate really got going.
Here is an excerpt of the report filed by the UR college paper the Collegian on the debate followed by a link to their entire story. I hope to post my complete uncut interviews with both candidates at a later date.
House of Delegate candidates debate on campus
By: Reilly Moore
The Virginia House of Delegates election made a stop at the University of Richmond earlier tonight during a 73rd district debate in the Alice Haynes Room.
Republican incumbent Del. John M. O’Bannon, who has held the 73rd district seat in the House of Delegates for the past eight years, joined his opponent, University of Richmond professor Tom Shields, during a 90-minute debate. About 150 students, faculty and community members attended.
The candidates fielded questions from moderator Dan Palazzolo, a University of Richmond political science professor, about health care, transportation, education and the economy. Eight questions were written by Palazzolo before the debate and an additional eight were submitted by audience members. The candidates also both delivered opening and closing statements.
Read the full article by clicking here.
(h/t to Jimmy Young the online managing editor for The Collegian for the use of the article)
As promised, the entire uncut interviews with both candidates from the night of the debate are below:
Del. John O’Bannon (R)
Tom Shields (D)