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Ron Unz for U.S. Senate

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TV Senate Debate Offers Rarity: Dems, Republicans on Same Stage

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Californians will witness a rare political moment Monday: Republican and Democratic U.S. Senate candidates debating on the same stage at the same time.

At 6 p.m., two Democratic and three Republican Senate candidates will meet for a 90-minute debate at the University of the Pacific in Stockton. Co-sponsored by The Chronicle and KCRA-TV in Sacramento, it is one of only two multiparty primary debates scheduled before California’s June 7 primary and the only one that will be televised live across the state and streamed digitally.

It will be carried by KNTV in the Bay Area, KSBW in Salinas-Monterey and KGTV in San Diego and shown on a tape-delayed basis Monday night on KCOP in Los Angeles. It will also be streamed live at SFChronicle.com. Chronicle Editorial Page Editor John Diaz and KCRA’s Edie Lambert will moderate.

The dual-party debate is a byproduct of an unusual occurrence, an open U.S. Senate seat — Sen. Barbara Boxer is not seeking a fifth term — and California’s top-two primary system, in which the top two vote-getters in the primary election advance to the general election, regardless of party affiliation.

The campaigns hope that Monday’s debate — and a surge in voter registration in California in the first part of 2016 — will jump-start interest in a race that has been overshadowed by the high-profile presidential campaign.

• Category: Senate Campaign • Tags: Joe Garofoli