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Ed Gillespie, Ralph Northam to appear at Times-Mirror forum

The Loudoun Times-Mirror will conduct civil conversations with the two major-party candidates for Virginia governor on Oct. 14.

“The next governor. Civil conversations.” will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Eddie Merlot’s restaurant at One Loudoun in Ashburn. Candidates Ralph Northam (D) and Ed Gillespie (R) have confirmed their participation in this first-of-its-kind conversations with the community in Loudoun County.

Times-Mirror editors will conduct in-depth, personal interviews with each candidate, followed by informal “wine & opine” discussions with the community that will be moderated by community thought leaders.

“Civil is the key word,” said Dale Peskin, the Times-Mirror’s executive editor. “Imagine a conversation over a glass of wine in your living room where you could truly engage with a candidate for governor, look him in the eyes across a coffee table, and rationally discuss the issues with friends representing all points of views.”

Peskin said that the newspaper values the civility of engaging, community conversations over the noise of political rallies or the shallowness of staged political forums. Peskin will conduct a one-on-one interview with Gillespie. Trevor Baratko, the Times-Mirror’s managing editor, will interview Northam.

The community is invited to participate. Tickets are $25, available from Eventbrite at goo.gl/i6bFMa.

Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served at a cash bar. Eddie Merlot's, a tony steakhouse, will offer happy hour pricing during the event.

Citizens can meet the candidates, grab a glass of wine, select a table in Eddie Merlot’s intimate dining room and assess what they heard from Northam and Gillespie and conduct conversations about the issues in the governor’s race. Thought leaders from the community have been invited to moderate the “wine and opine” table discussions. The moderators will be announced in the coming weeks.


I do not understand why a debate between candidates requires an entry fee. Find a place that can accommodate the anticipated crowd. Candidates..I am disappointed that you will participate in such a forum

I’m right there with Loudoun Resident… what about ALL of the candidates, not just the two that are bought and paid for by the two “major” parties!


No chance they invited Cliff Hyra.  Gotta maintain the monopoly.

What is REALLY rich is that someone who would give themselves the pen name “Loudoun4Trump” would object to being lied to by politicians.

This is so rich…the political class holding a wine and cheese event for the masses to come out to be lied to over a glass of wine…is there an independent running in this race by any chance…

Why does everything with this paper involve wine? Additionally, if we’re expected to pay for appetizers and drinks, why a $25 price tag?

I trust that Libertarian candidate Cliff Hyra was invited and said no. Otherwise, we should question the use of “civil” as a qualifier, since slamming the door in someone’s face is hardly “polite, courteous, well mannered, well bred, chivalrous, gallant; cordial, genial, pleasant, affable; gentlemanly, or even ladylike.”

During a civil conversation I expect to learn the other individuals’ points of view, while also expressing my point of view.  I find it hard to believe that it will be that close to the election and either candidates really wants to here the public’s opinion.

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