AP NEWS

The Latest: Virginia GOP candidate offended by Trump tape

April 22, 2017

GOOCHLAND, Va. (AP) — The Latest on the Republican primary debate for Virginia governor (all times local):

5:00 p.m.

The front-runner for the Republican nomination in Virginia’s closely watched governor’s race is expressing discomfort with series of vulgar and predatory comments about women President Donald Trump made in a recording 12 years ago.

Ed Gillespie said at a Republican debate Saturday in Goochland that he was offended by comments from a 2005 Access Hollywood tape in which Trump boasted about groping women.

Gillespie said all Americans deserve respect and noted that he was a husband and father of two daughters. He made the comments after one of his opponents, Corey Stewart, accused Gillespie of lacking loyalty to the president.

Virginia and New Jersey are the only states electing new governors this year and they could provide a window into Trump’s popularity.

3:52 p.m.

The three Republicans running for governor in Virginia’s closely watched gubernatorial contest are arguing over who is the most electable statewide candidate.

The trio squared off at debate Saturday in Goochland organized by a tea party group, the third and final debate all candidates plan to attend before the June primary.

Ed Gillespie, a prominent national Republican who has a large edge in fundraising, pitched himself as a party unifier.

Outspoken conservative Corey Stewart said he’s proven he could win statewide by winning local elections in a Democratic-leaning Northern Virginia county.

And state Sen. Frank Wagner touted his military service and connections to the Hampton Roads area.

Virginia and New Jersey are the only states electing new governors this year and they could provide a window into President Trump’s popularity.