Candidates for Florida's U.S. Senate seat to debate live from UCF

ORLANDO, Fla. — Channel 9 Eyewitness News, in partnership with ABC News, Politico Florida and COX Media Group radio stations WDBO and WOKV, proudly presents a one-on-one debate between U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, who are vying for Florida's U.S. Senate seat.

The live one-hour debate will take place at the University of Central Florida on Oct. 17 at 7:00 p.m. and the candidates will answer questions on issues that affect the people of Florida.

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"The race for the U.S. Senate seat in Florida will be one of the most watched in the country. This is an opportunity for our viewers to hear directly from Sen. Rubio and Rep. Murphy on where they stand on the key issues facing our region, our country and the world," said Paul Curran, vice president and general manager of WFTV Channel 9 and WRDQ TV-27. "Our expectation is that both candidates will use this forum to better educate the voting public on their vision for the future."

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"We're delighted to be participating with WFTV in this debate, which comes at an important moment in this potentially pivotal contest,” said Josh Benson, POLITICO States editor.

The debate will be moderated by Jonathan Karl, ABC's chief White House correspondent, and will be broadcast live on ABC affiliates throughout Florida and on WFTV's sister station in Jacksonville, WJAX. In addition, the debate will air locally on WRDQ TV 27 and throughout Florida on Cox Media Group radio stations, including WDBO in Orlando and WKOV in Jacksonville.

"Channel 9 Eyewitness News is dedicated to important issues," said Matt Parcell, Channel 9 news director. "Making sure voters know the candidates is a vital component to the success of our state and region," he added.

The panel of journalists who will question the candidates includes, WFTV Anchors Greg Warmoth and Nancy Alvarez and Politico's Marc Caputo.

"This is a special election in the Sunshine State. Not only could the race for the White House hinge on Florida, so could control of the United States Senate. This is a state to watch, a race to watch and therefore the debate to watch," said Caputo.

In addition to WJAX TV in Jacksonville, the debate will be simulcast on WMBB TV in Panama City, WCJB TV in Gainesville, WPLG TV in Miami, WZVN TV in Fort Myers, WTXL TV in Tallahassee and WFTS TV in Tampa-St. Petersburg.  Additional TV stations and radio stations will be added in the days ahead.

WHAT:          Florida’s U.S. Senate Debate

WHO:             U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy (FL-18)

WHEN:          Monday October 17, 2016

TIME:            7:00 p.m.

STATION:     WFTV Channel 9 (ABC), WRDQ TV 27 and on wftv.com.

The dominant ABC affiliate is part of Cox Media Group and ranks as Central Florida's number one local television station. The station also operates wftv.com.

About TV-27 WRDQ

The independent station is part of Cox Media Group and broadcasts Eyewitness News This Morning weekdays 7-9 a.m. and Eyewitness News at 10 p.m. The station is also the official television home of Orlando City Soccer Club, broadcasting 18 regular season matches in 2016.

About Cox Media Group

Cox Media Group is an integrated broadcasting, publishing, direct marketing and digital media company that includes the national advertising rep firms of CoxReps.  Additionally, CMG owns Cox Target Media, which operates Valpak, one of North America's leading direct marketing companies, and Savings.com, a leading online source for savings. The company's operations currently include 14 broadcast television stations and one local cable channel, 60 radio stations, six daily newspapers and more than a dozen non-daily publications, and more than 100 digital services.  CMG currently operates in more than 20 media markets and reaches approximately 52 million Americans weekly, including more than 31 million TV viewers, more than 3.5 million newspaper readers and more than 14 million radio listeners.  For more information about Cox Media Group, please check us out online at www.coxmediagroup.com.

About Politico

POLITICO is a global news and information company at the intersection of politics and policy. With publications based in Washington, D.C., and across the United States, including in Florida, as well as Brussels, POLITICO has one of the most robust and rapidly expanding rosters of journalists covering politics and policy in the world.