Debate set for WVa Gov. Jim Justice, Dem challenger Salango

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia Republican Gov. Jim Justice and Democratic challenger Ben Salango are set to participate in their only scheduled debate before the Nov. 3 election.

The one-hour debate is set for Tuesday night in Morgantown.

Justice, a billionaire businessman, switched from Democrat to Republican less than a year into his first term. He has firmly aligned himself with President Donald Trump, who carried West Virginia by 42 percentage points in 2016.

Justice has held weekly news briefings on the coronavirus pandemic since March. He said that while he hasn’t prepared much for the debate, “I’ve had to deal with running the state.”

Salango is an attorney and Kanawha County commissioner, who’s held small campaign rallies across the state since late August.

Both candidates have aired attack ads. According to the most recent state campaign finance reports, Justice outraised and outspent Salango over the past three months. Justice has loaned his own campaign nearly $2 million.

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