Debates between the candidates competing for the 6th and 9th congressional district seats will begin this week.

In the 6th District, which stretches from Roanoke eastward to Lynchburg and north to Front Royal, Republican Del. Ben Cline, an attorney from Rockbridge County, is facing Democrat Jennifer Lewis, a mental health worker from Augusta County. Cline and Lewis are competing to fill the seat of Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Roanoke County, who is retiring after 13 terms.

In the 9th District, Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Salem, is seeking a fifth term to represent the district that includes the New River Valley, Southwest Virginia’s coalfields, and parts of Southside and the Alleghany Highlands. Democrat Anthony Flaccavento, a farmer from Abingdon, is challenging Griffith for the second time.

There are seven debates scheduled, although not all candidates have agreed to attend them all.

6th District debates:

  • 10 a.m. Monday at Spotswood High School in Rockingham County. Both Lewis and Cline are expected to attend.
  • 6 p.m. Wednesday at The Patrick Henry at 611 S. Jefferson St. in Roanoke. Lewis has said she will not attend this debate. The Roanoke Regional Chamber, which is hosting the forum, has extended the event to include the House of Delegates’ 8th District candidates Republican Joe McNamara and Democrat Carter Turner. Register with the chamber to attend at 983-0700, or through the chamber website.
  • 6:30 p.m. Friday at Waynesboro High School in Waynesboro. Cline has said he will not attend.
  • 5:30 p.m. Oct. 22 at the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance at 300 Lucado Place in Lynchburg. Both Cline and Lewis have committed to attend. The forum also will include 5th Congressional District candidates Democrat Leslie Cockburn and Republican Denver Riggleman. The 5th District includes Franklin County and part of Bedford County.

9th District debates:

  • 7 p.m. Oct. 15 at Harman Chapel at Bluefield College in Bluefield. The debate will be broadcast live on WVVA-TV. Tickets may be reserved through Bluefield College and the campaigns.
  • 7 p.m. Oct. 18 at The Bristol Hotel at 510 Birthplace of Country Music Way in Bristol. The debate will be broadcast live on WCYB Tri-Cities CW. Tickets may be reserved through Bristol Chamber of Commerce, WCYB-TV, Bristol Herald Courier or the campaigns.
  • 7 p.m. Oct. 22 at the Salem Civic Center in Salem. Tickets reserved through Salem-Roanoke County Chamber of Commerce.

The election is Nov. 6.

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Amy Friedenberger is the politics reporter for The Roanoke Times. She's been a reporter here since 2014. Previously, she worked for newspapers in Pennsylvania. Follow her on Twitter at @ajfriedenberger.

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