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NC Senate hopefuls Budd, Beasley agree to October debate

Composite photo of Democratic North Carolina Senate candidate Cheri Beasley and Republican. candidate Ted Budd after both easily clinched primary victories Tuesday night.
Ben McKeown, Chris Seward
Composite photo of Democratic North Carolina Senate candidate Cheri Beasley (left) and Republican candidate Ted Budd (right). The two will debate in October.

North Carolina's two major-party U.S. Senate candidates have agreed to participate in a televised debate next month.

Spokespeople for the campaigns of Democrat Cheri Beasley and Republican Ted Budd said on Wednesday they would participate in an Oct. 7 debate that will be aired on Spectrum News 1. The cable channel also confirmed the debate, which will occur in Raleigh.

Budd's participation comes after he declined to join his Republican competitors in four televised debates leading up to the May primary. There were no Senate Democratic primary debates aired on live TV earlier this year, as Beasley's top rivals dropped out of the race months before the election.

The Spectrum agreement followed a back-and-forth by the two campaigns, particularly after Budd last week declined a debate offer by the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters.

Other candidates on the ballot for the Senate seat being vacated by Republican Richard Burr are Libertarian Shannon Bray and Matthew Hoh of the Green Party. It's unclear if they received an invitation to the debate.

Open U.S. Senate seats are uncommon in North Carolina. The last time such a race happened in the state was 18 years ago.

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