Warner agrees to eight appearances with Gillespie in Va. Senate race

RICHMOND – U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) on Thursday agreed to eight appearances with Republican challenger Ed Gillespie before the November election.

In addition to a televised debate in West Virginia last month, the candidates will square off in two more televised debates: on Oct. 7 in Fairfax County and on Oct. 13 in Richmond.

They also agreed to four joint appearances: two in Northern Virginia in September, one in Danville in October and another that has yet to be scheduled.

“I look forward to continuing the conversation with Virginians about my commitment to finding common sense solutions that provide every Virginian with a fair shot at success during these forums in all parts of the Commonwealth,” Warner said in a statement.

Gillespie’s spokesman, Paul Logan, said the Republican previously agreed to debate Warner at all of the events, but noted that many have been changed to “joint appearances” where the candidates are unlikely to interact.

“Warner is clearly not comfortable defending his record of voting with President Obama 97 percent of the time and comparing it to Ed’s record of getting results and his agenda for economic growth,” Logan said.

The Gillespie campaign is still in talks regarding a Hampton Roads event and has not yet received an invitation to a Roanoke event.

Warner has a double-digit lead in the race and has so far raised more money than Gillespie, who this week released his first television ad.

Jenna Portnoy covers Virginia politics for The Washington Post.

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