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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 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