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Bill Nelson, Rick Scott agree to first debate

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and Gov. Rick Scott have agreed to face each other in an Oct. 2 debate, Nelson’s campaign announced Monday evening.

Hosted by Telemundo 51 in Miami, the debate will be broadcasted in network stations in Miami, Fort Myers, Orlando, Tampa, West Palm and Orlando, according to Nelson’s campaign. A set time for the forum was not announced. It will be moderated by Telemundo 51’s senior political reporter Marilys Llanos and WTVJ NBC6’s senior news anchor Jackie Nespral.

It will be a first-time square off between Scott, a Republican, and Nelson, the Democratic incumbent. Scott, who entered the Senate race in April, posts a formidable challenge to Nelson. It’s is a virtual tie so far, according to a Quinnipiac poll released last week.

The planned debate is one of three Scott accepted in June. The other hosts: CNN and Jacksonville’s WJXT.

Early in August, Scott attacked Nelson with a digital ad accusing the sitting senator of debate dodging.

Nelson, however, framed his acceptance of the debate as Scott “finally” agreeing to take the stage alongside him.

Scott responded to Nelson, pressuring him to accept the other two debates.

Nelson’s campaign claims it is “reviewing other forums,” including the CNN debate, which would take place in mid-October.

Written By

Danny McAuliffe is a Tallahassee correspondent for Florida Politics. He is a graduate of Florida State University, where he served as the editor of the FSView & Florida Flambeau. He is a lifelong Floridian and indulges in swimming, hiking, running and memes when the news cycle permits. Reach him at dmcauliffe500@gmail.com.

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