NORFOLK, Va. (WDVM) — Following a debate filled with both agreements and disagreements, incumbent Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and challenger Dr. Daniel Gade (R-Va.) made very brief closing arguments after 90 minutes of debate at Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Va.
The candidates were allowed just 60 seconds to make a final plea to voters in their closing arguments. The questions asked of candidates at the debate centered around inequalities and disparities in the United States and in the commonwealth of Virginia.
Both Sen. Warner (D-Va.) and Dr. Gade (R-Va.) engaged in a civil debate and mostly adhered to time constraints, a big shift from what Americans saw on the national debate stage between President Donald Trump (R) and former Vice President Joe Biden (D) earlier this week.
Going first in closing arguments was Dr. Daniel Gade (R-Va.), who used his final minute to tell a story about his time in the United States Army and related it to his perception of politics.
“When I was wounded for the second time in Iraq… I was an Army Officer and I was transported by Marine Corps helicopter to an Navy surgical facility. When I got there, my blood pressure was 60 over zero. I had completely bled out,” shared the political newcomer.
“They gave me all the A+ blood they had stored and it still wasn’t enough. So, they went to the mess hall and they said, ‘Attention, if you have A+ blood, we could use your help. Twenty-five sailors and Marines got up from their dinner and they came over and they donated their fresh, hot blood into bags, bags hung on an IV pole and into my body to save my life,” Dr. Gade (R-Va.) said.
“What’s great about that story is what’s great about America. What’s great about America is we can come together to solve hard problems. Not one of those 25 said anything ridiculous like, ‘Is he Black? Is he Hispanic? Is he gay? Is he straight?’ They all knew that I was an American and so they came together, and saved my life. That’s what America can be and that’s what motivates my political philosophy,” he ended his closing argument.
Following Dr. Gade’s (R-Va.) closing argument was incumbent Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), who took his last minute to recognize his own privilege and he believes it shapes his policies.
“I’ve been very blessed. As the first person in my family to graduate from college, failed a couple times in business before I did well. One of the things that made me want to get into public service was I wanted to get things done,” opened Sen. Warner (D-Va.).
“As governor, when we earned recognition for best managed state for business, best state to receive a public education. I’m proud of our public schools. Or the 55 laws I’ve passed as your senator; some as recently as last month, where the President signed the largest investment in our national parks in decades through the Great American Outdoors Act,” the former Governor of Virginia noted.
“What we’ve got to do is realize, and part of what we didn’t get enough time on tonight is, making sure everybody gets the kind of fair shot that I was blessed to have. I do believe that means investing in education. I do believe that means equality of access to capital. I do believe that means justice and policing reform. Together, there’s nothing we can’t do as Virginians and Americans,” he ended.