Race for Virginia governor heats up in final two months of campaign

NORFOLK, Va. - The race for governor has reached the pivotal post-Labor Day period, the time considered the final stretch of the campaign.

A recent poll from Roanoke College gives Democrat Ralph Northam a seven-point lead over Republican Ed Gillespie at 43% to 36%, but about 20% of people said they are undecided.

Northam unveiled his veterans policy on Tuesday morning outside of the Battleship Wisconsin. His goals include creating more job opportunities for veterans, working to curb veteran suicide, supporting women veterans, and helping to make higher education more accessible. "When our active duty men and women separate or retire from the military, we want to help them enter the private sector," Northam said.

Northam is a veteran, having served as as an Army doctor during the Gulf War. During Tuesday's announcement, he recalled what it was like for him to leave the service in 1992. "I sat down at the table. I signed some paperwork and in the matter of about an hour they said, 'Major Northam, thank you for your service,' and they told me 'good luck,'" he said. "We can do better than that."

In July, Ed Gillespie released his veterans plan. His ideas include creating more jobs for veterans, trying to grow veterans' influence in government, and improving care for veterans and their families. “From the Army general assigned to the Pentagon, to the Navy Seal in Hampton Roads, to the Reservist from Southside, the Commonwealth owes all of our service members our unwavering support.  We can do more to help them and their families here," he said.

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