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Youngkin, McAuliffe discuss efforts to boost Virginia's economy during the pandemic

Terry McAuliffe and Glenn Youngkin made stops in Norfolk Thursday following Tuesday's debate.

NORFOLK, Va. — Republican Glenn Youngkin and Democrat Terry McAuliffe are looking to turn Virginia around during the pandemic.

Following Tuesday's debate, both candidates made stops in Norfolk on Thursday. They discussed their plans to boost the state's economy.

Youngkin wants to create 400,000 jobs in the state. He said 10,000 of those would be start-up businesses.

"We absolutely recognize that manufacturing is at the heart of our job growth and we have great opportunities to bring manufacturing to Virginia," he said.

McAuliffe said he also plans to bring hundreds of thousands of jobs to the Commonwealth.

"We to continue to recruit businesses who come here to Virginia," McAuliffe said. "We have to continue to be an open and welcoming state. You know I'm the one who recruited Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft."

Both candidates said they also want to support the small businesses already here impacted by the pandemic.

"The state needs to get more aggressive," McAuliffe said. "We need to have more lending programs to help small businesses. I have a whole plan on how we can do micro-loan targeting to help businesses who are in trouble during this pandemic."

Youngkin says he was disappointed when Virginia locked down at the start of COVID-19. He says it's something he won't do.

"Number one thing is we're going to keep Virginia open, no lockdowns," Youngkin said. "The second thing is we're going to go ahead and kill 25 percent of job-killing regulations. Just slice them away. Third, I'm going to protect our right to work status."  

On minimum wage, McAuliffe hopes to speed up the state's plan by two years, boosting it to $15 an hour by 2024.

"If we're going to get truly out of this COVID because COVID has been so tough to so many families here in Virginia," McAuliffe said. "We got to lift people up. We got to lift families up and pay them a living wage."

Youngkin says the state is already on the right track with raising the minimum wage by 2026.

"The law that's been passed is one that I can actually work with," Youngkin said. "It's a good gradual increase over time."

Early voting in the gubernatorial election is underway and goes until Oct. 30. Oct. 12 is the deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 2 election.

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