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Candidates A Study In Contrasts In The Race For Virginia Lieutenant Governor

Candidates for Virginia Lt. Governor, Republican E.W. Jackson, left, and Democrat Ralph S. Northam shake hands after a debate at George Mason University, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013 in Arlington, Va.
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Candidates for Virginia Lt. Governor, Republican E.W. Jackson, left, and Democrat Ralph S. Northam shake hands after a debate at George Mason University, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013 in Arlington, Va.

The candidates for lieutenant governor in Tuesday's general election are offering Virginia voters a dramatic choice.

E.W. Jackson is a socially conservative Republican opposed to abortion, while his opponent, Democratic state Sen. Ralph S. Northam is a physician best known for his defense of women's reproductive rights.

The two also part ways on a number of other issues, including same-sex marriage and an expansion of Medicaid in Virginia.

Jackson is against both, while Northam backs each. The starkly contrasting pair are seeking to replace Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling.

In Virginia, the lieutenant governor is elected independent of the governor, so it's possible Jackson or Northam could serve with their political opposite. Both said in interviews that they would seek common ground with whoever is governor.

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