Senate candidates still can't agree on debates

Hartford - The dueling U.S. Senate campaigns of Democrat Christopher Murphy and Republican Linda McMahon still cannot agree on the number of debates between now and the Nov. 6 election.

Murphy's campaign announced Thursday that they have agreed to nine debates, with the first coming on Sept. 27 and the final one Oct. 27 in New Haven with the NAACP.

Yet McMahon's campaign said it has agreed to only four of those dates - all of them in October. One of the confirmed debates is set for Oct. 15 at the Garde Arts Center in New London and will be hosted by The Day and WTNH-TV.

Asked why McMahon won't do more than four debates, her campaign spokesman Todd Abrajano pointed out that President Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney are down for only three debates.

"If three debates are good for the presidency, four debates should be good enough for the U.S. senate race," Abrajano said.

The Murphy campaign has accused McMahon of "hiding" from unscripted, face-to-face settings.

"Voters will be able to see firsthand the difference between the endless 30-second attack ads and my plan to bring jobs back to Connecticut and strengthen our middle class," Murphy said in a statement Thursday.

j.reindl@theday.com

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