Luria, Taylor face off in final debate ahead of Election Day

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va (WAVY) — As this election cycle nears an end, two local candidates are fighting to get in the final word.

Elaine Luria, Democratic candidate for Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District, and incumbent Rep. Scott Taylor had their final debate Tuesday at the Westin in Town Center.

Luria and Taylor previously faced each other in a debate last week in Virginia Beach, where they argued topics including sequestration, tax cut and medical payments for pre-existing conditions.

The debate on Tuesday began in a sad and emotional issue, the recent synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh

Congressman Scott Taylor: “I think the rhetoric is dangerous in this country, and I do think there is rhetoric from the top that is dangerous, and from other leaders, not just in the executive branch, but at the Congressional branch. I’ve seen it too much from my peers who have taken it too far.”

Luria agrees with Taylor on this issue, “I think the rhetoric is coming form the top. I think it is unacceptable, and it is permeating through our communities and it is completely unacceptable. It is  becoming common place, and I think we need people to stand up and resist the racism, bigotry, and anti-Semitism.”

Luria blasted the Trump Administration’s stance on new tariffs using her small business as an example.

“I have three main components that go into a product that I manufacture, and one of them is steel, so my supplier sent me a notice that said we are going to have to cover the cost by sending it on to you, and now I am going to have to raise my costs to consumers after the first of the year.”

Taylor spoke about how he fast tracked the Ashanti Billie Alert Bill thorough the House of Representatives.

“On the day that the family came into my office we passed the Ashanti Alert Act, through the House of Representatives and hopefully it will get to the president sooner rather than later so we can save lives.”

They both got in digs on each other, with Luria asking Taylor whether he is voting for controversial Republican U.S. Senate candidate Corey Stewart, “I am still waiting for an answer from Congressman Taylor because the top of his ticket is a choice between Corey Stewart and Tim Kaine.  So I’m curious how much he supports his party, and how he will vote on November 6,” which was followed by loud applause from Luria supporters. 

Taylor hit Luria on whether if she wins she will support Nancy Pelosi for House Speaker, since she  heavily funded Luria’s campaign.

“I don’t know. How can you say who you are going to support if you don’t know what the choices are.” 

Taylor jumped in quickly, “I am NO on Nancy Pelosi,” to great applause from his supporters.

The issue of the migrant caravan came up. That’ the mass of humanity, around 7,000, marching through Mexico toward the U.S Border seeking a new life.  President Trump is sending 5,200 troops to the border with Mexico. 

Taylor, “we are a nation of law. You have to do it the right way.  If you want to change the laws, well OK, we can work on that.”  Luria has stated before she supports consideration on a case by case basis, “I think it is essential we have strong borders and that we have comprehensive immigration reform, and I think the fear mongering and the stoking fear from the other side is counter-productive.”

A new issue emerged in the campaign. Democrats have adopted the $15 minimum wage as part of their party platform. 

Luria was asked to explain why as a Democrat she isn’t paying all her workers $15. Taylor prompted the discussion, “You are not going to hear her talking about her position on the $15 minimum wage, which she doesn’t pay her own folks.”  Luria shot back, “I do support incrementally increasing the minimum wage to $15,  and I do pay all my full time employees $15 dollars an hour.” 

10 On Your Side followed up with her, does everyone make at least $15 an hour?  Who would not make $15 an hour?

She responded, “I have had a couple of high school students who work in the summer, but as they work more and learned more I paid them more.”  Scott responded after the debate, “So she doesn’t  pay her part time employees $15 dollars an hour, but her position is a $15 dollar minimum wage minimum, so it is extremely hypocritical she wants the government to mandate something that your business does that she doesn’t do for her own business, that is hypocritical.”

Election is Tuesday, Nov. 6, with absentee voting already underway in Virginia.

Stay with WAVY.com for all your local election coverage.

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