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Allen, Kaine to debate Saturday

U.S. Senate candidates George Allen and Tim Kaine will face off in their first general election debate tomorrow in front of the Virginia Bar Association at the Homestead.

The two former governors debated late last year at an event sponsored by the Associated Press and others.

This Senate race — to replace Sen. Jim Webb, who is retiring after one term, which he won by beating Allen in 2006 — is one of the most hotly contested in the country. Polls consistently show Kaine and Allen neck-and-neck, and in addition to the campaigns’ own ads, outside groups are running TV ads in the race as well.

The VBA traditionally hosts summer debates at the Homestead in statewide races; the last was in 2009, in the governor’s race between Bob McDonnell and Creigh Deeds.

It’s not televised and rarely produces big news, coming in summer when few voters are paying attention and campaigns still have several months in which to spin their messages. It is open to the public, although the Homestead is a good three-hour drive from Richmond and more from Fredericksburg.

CNN anchor Candy Crowley will be moderating the debate, which starts at 11 a.m. Check back here Saturday afternoon for updates.

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