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Virginia governor candidates face off in final debate

Gillespie, Northam squared off at UVA Wise Monday night

SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA – Virginia's two major party candidates faced off in their last debate.

Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrat Ralph Northam squared off Monday night at UVA Wise. 

The two gubernatorial candidates sparred with pointed attacks.  Gillespie accused Northam of being an absentee lieutenant governor. Meanwhile, Northam blasted Gillespie for his past career as a Washington lobbyist, saying he only helped the rich. 

WSLS 10's political analyst Dr. Ed Lynch said he was surprised that Northam did not bring up President Donald Trump, but he believes the campaign is being a little cautious since recent polls have Northam in the lead. 

"Ed Gillespie was more aggressive than he was in the first debate, which is not surprising because he's got the ground to cover if the recent polls are reliable. Ralph Northam seemed to be playing it safe and protecting his lead, which anybody in sports will tell you is the fastest way to lose a lead," said Lynch. 

The pair clashed on issues including sanctuary cities, Medicaid and coal.

Finding common ground on a few issues, Gillespie and Northam both said they want a pay raise for Virginia teachers.