U.S. Senate candidates George Allen and Tim Kaine will hold their first debate of the general election season next month in Bath County.
The Virginia Bar Association announced this morning that the two former governors have committed to participate in the July 21 debate at The Homestead in Hot Springs, where the VBA is holding its annual summer meeting. The bar association debate, coming on a Saturday morning in the dead of summer, has become a tradition in Virginia statewide elections.
Kaine and Allen met for a debate last December at the state Capitol in Richmond, but that was before Allen had nailed down the Republican nomination. Allen won his party’s June 12 primary handily, getting nearly two-thirds of the vote in the low-turnout election.
Allen’s last appearance at a VBA debate was in 2006, when he lost his bid for re-election to the Senate to Democrat Jim Webb. Webb is not running for a second term. Allen also participated in VBA debates in his 1993 run for governor and his 2000 campaign for the Senate.
Kaine’s last VBA debate encounter came in 2005, when he was running for governor against Republican Jerry Kilgore. That event took place at The Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.
– Michael Sluss