Taylor held the 2nd District Congressional seat from 2017 to 2019 and is seeking to win it back from Elaine Luria. Taylor won the coin toss held before the start of the debate which allowed him to make his opening statement first. Both Taylor and Luria provided voters with key information on their backgrounds and what they each accomplished as the 2nd District Representative during their respective terms in their opening statements.
The debate was divided into four, twenty-minute segments containing four questions each, allowing the candidates two minutes to answer and then thirty seconds for rebuttal.
The first segment focused on the local economy asking specifically about the Department of Defense, tourism, and the Port of Virginia.
“We cannot have a government that is so behind in machine learning and AI. The future is in building more ships because we are a naval maritime power. We have to reorient the DOD and maintain the military, to fight the wars of the future,” said Taylor.
“It’s obvious that we need to continue to grow our navy. We need to also invest in the maintenance infrastructure to maintain the ships we already have, as well as build new ships. We also need to focus on climate change effects on sea levels rising,” said Luria.
Segment two focused on Unresolved Federal Issues. This segment focused on trade, immigration, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, and healthcare. Regarding immigration, Congresswoman Luria and Taylor found common ground, both agreeing that it should be a bipartisan effort to foster legal immigration. Luria remarked “We do need to work together in a bipartisan way to create immigration reform that leads to a path of citizenship. It’s important that we maintain an immigration system for people to come here legally and follow the American dream”.
Segment three was dedicated to COVID-19 response. Specifically, as the pandemic relates to military veterans, legal liability for businesses, and economic growth.
In regard to the federal response to COVID, Congresswoman Luria responded, “I think this is an incredibly challenging time and we could have had a more unified national response. We had a situation that every hospital, jail, school, business was competing with each other for PPE, there was no prioritized distribution. What will we do moving forward? We need to be planning on how the vaccine will be distributed. There was much more that could have been done to reach all Americans and to track, record, and trace the virus”.
In regard to COVID Taylor stated, “You can’t talk about the pandemic without talking about China. We should hold them accountable. The President shut down the borders quickly. Both parties should have come together to work towards getting you, the American people, the most accurate information”.
Segment four focused on broader economic issues including raising the minimum wage, right to work laws, Federal taxation, and US debt. In regards to minimum wage, Taylor believes the market should drive the wages. Congresswoman Luria supports the gradual increase in minimum wage up to the suggested $15 per hour.
Each candidate then had the chance to offer their closing remarks.
Special thank you to our sponsors Bon Secours Hampton Roads, the Marriott Virginia Beach Oceanfront, Light Tech, Chesapeake Regional Healthcare, Sentara Optima Health, and Clark Nexsen, for making this event possible.