Incumbent Republican Rob Wittman shared the podium with two challengers, Democrat Adam Cook of Fredericksburg and independent candidate Gail Parker of Fairfax.
With some exceptions, both Wittman and Cook took a party-line stance on the issues, while Parker repeatedly brought the discussion back to a single issue—the need for high-speed rail.
In opening remarks, Parker introduced herself as a mother and grandmother who wants to "remove the federal barriers to the building of rail." She said that building rail requires only a 20 percent federal investment, while building highways requires an 80 percent federal investment. She took up an additional issue, as well, pushing for Congressional approval of arms sales to foreign governments rather than leaving approval in the hands of the State and Defense departments, but her answer to almost every question under debate was "high-speed rail."