Lieutenant Governor's race could have major impact in Richmond - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Lieutenant Governor's race could have major impact in Richmond

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ROANOKE -

While all eyes are focused on gubernatorial candidates Ken Cuccinelli and Terry McAuliffe, another race could have just as big of an impact.

Republican pastor and activist E.W. Jackson is running against Democrat State Senator Ralph Northam to see who will be Virginia's next lieutenant governor.

Jackson and Northam will have their first debate Tuesday at 7 p.m. at George Mason University.

This will also be the first time many voters get to hear from the candidates.

Since the State Senate is split 20/20, it's up to the lieutenant governor to cast the deciding vote on the majority of ties.

"It's extremely important who controls the Senate," said Democrat State Senator John Edwards.

He's been in the middle of plenty of battles in the State Senate over the last two years.

Edwards said Democrats are focusing on the lieutenant governor's race.

"It could be critical because the Lieutenant Governor breaks ties," he said. "A lot of bills have gotten out based on the lieutenant governor's vote."

A vote that has belonged to Republicans since the State Senate split 20/20 in 2011.

Salem Delegate Greg Habeeb said Republicans have accomplished a lot while controlling both chambers.

"We've got a lot of great stuff done over the last few years whether it's education reform, VRS reform, job creation, a lot of that has been because we've had a willing partner in the Senate," Habeeb said.

Whether Republicans keep control of Richmond will be determined in November, a decision that could have a wide ranging impact across the state.

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