Del. Ken Plum (D) and Mac Cannon, Plum's Republican challenger, talked about issues ranging from education to transportation to a woman's right to choose at a taping of Comcast Channel 28's Reston Impact public affairs show on Friday.
Here are some of the highlight's of the debate:
Rail to Dulles:
Plum: "It is really unfortunate that the nation's capital does not have an airport rail connection. The Federal government has got to step up to the plate for Phase 2."
Plum, Reston's representative since 1982, pointed out that when Metro was built in DC in the 1970s, the Federal contribution was 80 percent. The Federal government contributed 20 percent to Phase 1, which is more than halfway constructed. The commitment so far for Phase 2, to run from Wiehle Avenue in Reston to Dulles International Airport and into Loudoun County - is $0.
Plum added he is committed to keeping tolls low. He said that forecasts of $17-plus tolls are "bogus" and are looking 30-50 years into the future.
Said Cannon: "I want it finished."
Cannon, who estimates he spends $725 a year to commute by car to his job near Tysons Corner. "But there is going to be a cost that has to be paid. If the numbers pan out, it will be a 500-percent increase in tolls."
No Child Left Behind and Virginia Public Education:
Both candidates agree that the 2002 Federal legislation has harmed schools more than helped it, resulting in teachers teaching to the test and unfair benchmarks to measure progress.
"It was a mistake to move the Federal government into the schools the way NCLB did," said Plum, who advocates indivualized instruction for students.
Cannon said he is in favor of public-private partnerships and vouchers for more flexibility in choosing schools.
"We need to find other ways to educate children," said Cannon, who also ran against Plum in 2009.
On "Obamacare" helping Virginia families:
Plum says state programs have already resulted in thousands of families getting access to health insurance.
"As we create larger pools of workers [in Virginia's strong economy], I don't think this will result in higher insurance premiums."
Cannon said he does not believe the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act "is the right solution for us."
"Whether you think it is a good idea, I don't think we can afford it," he said. "I think we need to make sure we take care of the less fortunate, and live healthy, but how you pay for it is something we need to tackle."
On Gov. Bob McDonnell's recent legislation making abortion clinics follow strict hospital guidelines:
Cannon says he agrees with the legislation, which was backed this summer by the Virginia Department of Health and will likely go into effect next year.
"There is nothing I would do to repeal it," he said. "The clinics should be regulated."
Plum says he voted against the bill and other similar to it.
"It is not a good idea," he said. "This is really over-reaching government, which is ironic coming from people who are against over-reaching government."
The full debate will air on Comcast Channel 28 Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 8:30 p.m.