CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Just nine days before the highly anticipated gubernatorial election, Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe hosted a star-studded rally at Ting Pavilion featuring voting rights activist Stacey Abrams, Democratic National Committee chairman Jaime Harrison, and musician Dave Matthews.

When asked what issues were on their minds heading into the election, attendees mentioned issues like abortion and LGBTQI rights.

"Women's health care," said Jacob Zimmerman, a rally attendee. "I have a lot of female friends and a lot of them are scared, they're like, 'will I be able to have my own choices? Can I make decisions that only I can make?'" 

"They're really chipping away at abortion rights and we don't have a Supreme Court now that is going to protect those rights, so it's really incumbent upon getting Democrats in office who are going to uphold those rights and expand rights for women," said Miro Korenha, who came from Virginia Beach. 

Along with women's health care rights, attendees of all ages wanted to make sure Virginia is a safe place for everyone regardless of gender.

"My biggest concern is LGBTQI people, that is my biggest concern and will always be my biggest concern," Zimmerman said.

"I have an older sister who is married to her wife of many years. I can't believe we're still debating these things," said Laurence Lanux Hailey, who came in from Lynchburg.

The voters said they support McAuliffe because of his stance on these topics. It's their hope that keeping a Democrat in the governor's office will create a better way forward for the state.

"Virginia is going to shape the future of the country for the next election cycle, for the next two years, four years, even the next decade. So it's really crucial that we set the tone that Virginia isn't slipping back to being a red state,” Korenha said.

Early voting lasts until Oct. 30 and the general election is on Nov. 2.