GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY (WUSA9) -- The Virginia lieutenant governor candidates Republican E.W Jackson and Democratic Ralph S. Northam took the stage at GMU with moderator Peggy Fox of WUSA9.
Sen. Northam, a pediatric neurologist who was first elected to the Virginia Senate in 2007 spoke about his contribution in the medical industry and 8 years of active duty in U.S. Army. He said, "Its about service. Its about wanting to do better on a different level."
He mentioned some of the work that has been done, in particular the ban on smoking. "People came together, we banned smoking...That has made the commonwealth a healthier place for our children and our families to dine." He also mentioned his contribution in the efforts to clean up the environment especially the Chesapeake Bay.
"But we still have a lot of work to do in the commonwealth of Va. And that's why i'm running for Lt. Governor," Sen. Northam said before Q&A.
Republican E.W Jackson mentioned about his life growing up in foster care and the lack of opportunity that his father had in his career life. "I want every single Virginian to have the ability to get a meaningful job that allows them to take care of their family."
"I really believe our country is desperately headed in the wrong direction," Jackson said. "My vision for Va. Is that every single person would be able to stay here, not have to leave, stay here and get a decent job."
Jackson also stressed the importance of parents playing a big role in their children's education.
Jackson said the Affordability care act is crushing the economy in Virginia. "I want everyone to have healthcare..i just believe this is not the way to do it." He believes turning healthcare over to the Federal Government is not going to be beneficial.
On a question regarding the treatment for mentally ill individuals, he said, "We've got to re-think how we deal with our mentally ill. Doing what we are doing is not working for our mentally ill."
Sen. Northam responded and said that institutionalizing this will only raise more costs. He then mentioned about the impact of gun violence on the society.
"The first step is to sit down on the table and lets agree that we have a problem with gun violence in our society," said Sen. Northam. "At the end of the day we are not going to do anything to threaten the 2nd amendment but we need to make sure the guns are not in the hands criminals and mentally ill."
Jackson who does not support the idea of eliminating the right to bear arms said, "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
Jackson supports home-schooling and that everyone should have the option to home-school their children. "Everyone should be given the option to home school their children." he said. "Weve got to have parental choice in education...Its not about the system..its about those kids."
Sen. Northam said he shares the points of diversity and good quality education but brought up the issue of cost with 110 million dollar would be taken out of the public education budget and 1,700 teachers would lose their jobs in Va. He asked, "How do you make up that deficit? Don't take money away from the public education."
Jackson was asked about his recent comments on the LGBT community. He said, "I would govern according to the constitution of Virginia and the law. He also said, "I care about all people."
Sen. Northam promoted equality and coming together in his statement. He said, "One of the jobs of Lt. governor is going to be to unite people..it is very important for us to get along and move Virginia in a positive (direction) but making statements against the LGBT community saying they are sick individuals, making statements against democrats saying that they are anti-God, anti-Family, anti-life, those kind of statements...are offensive."