Recorded on December 7, 2011, the debate between the leading candidates for the U.S. Senate in Virginia, Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican George Allen, was part of Associated Press Day at the Capitol, an annual government and political news forum at the state Capitol hosted by the Virginia AP Managing Editors and the Virginia Capitol Correspondents Association.
Kaine and Allen, both former governors, are seeking their parties' nominations for the seat of Sen. Jim Webb, who is not running for re-election in 2012. Allen is trying to regain the seat he lost to Webb in 2006. Kaine also served as chair of the Democratic National Committee before entering the race.
Only the event’s organizers determined which candidates would be eligible to participate. Qualified candidates were those who averaged 15 percent or more in established and published independent polls and raised at least 20 percent as much funding as their party’s front runner by the end of October. Only Kaine and Allen met those criteria.
Republican candidates who did not met the organizers’ participation criteria are tea party leader Jamie Radtke, Hampton Roads clergyman E.W. Jackson, businessman Tim Donner and lawyer David McCormick. Democrats not qualifying are businessman Julien Modica and business consultant Courtney Lynch.
Bob Gibson, executive director of the nonpartisan Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia, was the moderator.