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McAuliffe, Youngkin clash over vaccination, taxes in debate

Five weeks from Election Day and with early voting already underway, recent polls suggest a tight race between McAuliffe and Youngkin.

VIRGINIA, USA — Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin got off to a combative start in the second and final debate in Virginia’s closely watched gubernatorial election.

The candidates clashed over vaccination, tax policy and their respective records in Tuesday night's hourlong debate.

Five weeks from Election Day and with early voting already underway, recent polls suggest a tight race between McAuliffe and Youngkin.

McAuliffe is seeking a second term after his first ended in 2018. Youngkin is a former business executive and political newcomer. 

McAuliffe repeatedly seized on Youngkin’s opposition to mask and vaccine mandates, and Youngkin stumbled briefly when asked by the moderator if he supported measles and mumps vaccines. He eventually said he did. 

Youngkin also made news when asked if he would support Donald Trump as the 2024 Republican presidential nominee. Youngkin initially tried to dodge but finally said he would.

Third-party candidate Princess Blanding was not invited to participate in the debate but shouted from the audience about how she had been shut out.

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