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Government & Politics

Lone Televised U.S. Senate Debate Set for Sunday

Jennifer Gilbert

U.S. Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D) and his leading rivals will take part in their only debate of the campaign on Sunday, Maryland Matters has learned. The one-hour debate will take place at WBFF-TV (Fox 45) in Baltimore. The station invited Cardin, Republican Tony Campbell and independent Neal Simon, but not Libertarian candidate Arvin Vohra, who has registered in the low single digits, if at all, in public opinion surveys.  Jennifer Gilbert of Fox 45 will serve as debate moderator.   Cardin, a two-term senator who got his start in politics 52 years ago, is a heavy favorite to win a third term. The encounter will provide his opponents the most high-profile opportunity to generate any momentum they’re likely to get.  Campbell, a political science professor at Towson University and longtime GOP activist, is running without the backing of the state’s popular governor, Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R). Simon, a wealthy business executive from Potomac, has poured a couple of million dollars into the contest. In addition, a Super PAC called People Over Politics, is raising money independently to advance Simon’s candidacy, mostly from the business community. The debate will be moderated by Jennifer Gilbert, a Fox 45 anchor.   It will air live, at 3 p.m., on WJLA 24/7 News, the Washington, D.C.-area station formerly known as NewsChannel 8. It will also be live-streamed at and The debate will re-air on MyTV Baltimore, the Fox45 digital subchannel, Sunday at 7 p.m., and on Saturday, Oct. 13, at 4 p.m., on Fox45.   Maryland Public Television and C-SPAN may air the debate as well, though dates and times were unavailable as this article was posted. In a related development, the Cardin campaign announced Thursday that it would begin airing its first radio ad of the campaign on Friday. It will play in the Baltimore, D.C. and Salisbury markets. The 60-second ad features Cardin talking about his priorities and about all the work he is doing to fight President Trump’s agenda. “My father spent his career as a judge and I know that the people who serve on our courts must be impartial and possess judicial temperament that Judge [Brett] Kavanaugh is clearly lacking,” Cardin says at the opening of the ad, referencing Trump’s controversial Supreme Court nominee. “But while Donald Trump is politicizing the courts with partisan nominees, we must not forget all the damage he is doing to our country.” The Cardin campaign said it would begin airing TV ads next week.

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Lone Televised U.S. Senate Debate Set for Sunday