Northam, Perriello talk tough issues with Charlottesville voters

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (NEWSPLEX) -- Just minutes after Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam took the stage to answer his first question about the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a group of people protested because he did not take a firm stance.

Northam says the decision lies on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, to make the final decision, but voters disagree.

"He absolutely has the power," said Laura Cross, a pipeline protester. "The fact he says he doesn't is kind of maneuvering to push it off to FERC."

It is also a sharp contrast from his opponent, Charlottesville-native Tom Perriello.

"It's an enormous waste of money," said Perriello. "It's $6.7 billion to create 75 jobs when if we invest in a small fraction of that in clean energy and energy efficiency, we would protect our environment."

There's also the removal of Confederate monuments in Charlottesville.

Both candidates say they support city council's decision, but Northam says Virginia's history is also important.

"We faced this in a lot of cities and towns with streets and statues, and it's really a local decision," said Northam.

CBS19 also asked the candidates about what is happening in Washington, D.C.

Perriello voted in favor of the Affordable Care Act when he was in Congress, and he says the House's move to repeal and replace it is "cowardly."

"To move us back 10 years with health insurance is a disaster, but they've also made it a state issue because if it passes the Senate, the governor is in the position," said Perriello.

Northam says what is happening in D.C. is unacceptable, and only voters have control of what happens next.

"It's important that all of us stand up and cast our ballot on Election Day, go to the polls and cast our ballots," said Northam. "These elections have a tremendous consequences."

State Senator Frank Wagner, Corey Stewart, and Ed Gillespie are running for the Republican nomination.

The primary election is set for June 13.

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