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Watch video now: 2016 W.Va. Gubernatorial Debate and Analysis

AARP Online Voter Guide included in video package

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Press Association and AARP WV are pleased to be able to provide a full video online re-broadcast of the Oct. 4, 2016, W.Va.Gubernatorial Debate between Democrat Jim Justice and Republican Bill Cole and moderated by West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Ashton Marra.Debate Logo-2016

The debate was broadcast from the Walker Theater in The Clay Center, Charleston, W.Va.

“The West Virginia Press Association recognized the importance of helping sponsor the 2016 West Virginia Gubernatorial Debate on behalf of its 77 member newspapers across the state,” said Don Smith, executive director of the WVPA. “Residents of West Virginia have counted on their community newspaper for fair and unbiased reporting of news and politics since before West Virginia was a state. Hosting this debate was a continuation of more than 150 years of public service to the voters of West Virginia.”

“Equally important in the 2016 West Virginia electoral process are the strong and fact-based editorial comments provided by West Virginia newspapers. Residents count on their local newspapers to analyze, fact-check, summarize and highlight the key statements of candidates in each election. The post-debate analysis at the 2016 West Virginia Gubernatorial Debate features some of the newspaper industry’s outstanding political commentators was the first element in that process, which will continue on editorial pages throughout the election cycle,” Smith said.

The most important element of the 2016 West Virginia Gubernatorial Debate, Smith said, was ensuring that the broadcast and coverage of the debate be fair, unbiased, non-partisan, and available to residents in all 55 counties of West Virginia.

“That was the primary goal of the partnership with AARP WV and coverage of the debate broadcast on West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s television and radio networks, on many commercial stations, and online. With print, broadcast and online coverage available, all residents in West Virginia had access to the debate. Posting this video of the full debate extends that accessibility.”

This video includes the post-debate analysis moderated by Rick Lord, news anchor for WCHS, Charleston, and featuring commentary from Mike Myer of the Wheeling News-Register and The Intelligencer, Rob Byers of The Charleston Gazette-Mail, Ann Ali of The State Journal, Brad McElhinny of West Virginia Metro News, Caitlyn Coyne of The Daily Athenaeum, the student newspaper at West Virginia University;  and Lexi Browning of The Parthenon, the student newspaper at Marshall University.

For more information on the candidates’ position, view the attached AARP Voter Guide that is available below, or by link.

The debate and this video are provided with assistance of West Virginia Public Broadcasting and The Media Center of Charleston. The reception, watch event, debate and analysis were catered by Embassy Suites of Charleston.

Candidates address major issues facing older West Virginians & their families

AARP West Virginia has released its 2016 Video Voter Guide featuring exclusive one-on-one interviews with gubernatorial candidates Senate President Bill Cole (R) and Jim Justice (D), answering key questions on how they would improve the lives of family caregivers, help West Virginians prepare for retirement security and make the Mountain State more age-friendly.

In the question and answer session with AARP West Virginia State President Rich Stonestreet and State Director Gaylene Miller, the candidates for governor address the needs of the state’s nearly 300,000 unpaid family caregivers and the more than 270,000 working West Virginians without access to retirement saving plans in the workplace. Each of the candidates also details his vision of making West Virginia more age-friendly.

“Voters in communities across the Mountain State want to know more about where the candidates stand on the issues affecting their lives,” said AARP West Virginia State President Rich Stonestreet.  “We’re thankful to these candidates for thoughtfully sharing their insights with us.”

AARP produced the video as part of a 30-year commitment to non-partisan voter engagement effort, to help voters be informed and feel their part of the electoral process.

According to voter statistics from the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office, there are more than 1.25 million registered voters in the Mountain State. For information about the November 8 election, including information about voting locations, early voting and sample ballots, AARP encourages voters to visit the Secretary of State’s office online at




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