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Debates scarce in races for Senate, governor in Missouri

Don’t expect Missouri candidates to spend much of their final weeks before Election Day sharing a stage and debating their opponents.

Candidates for the U.S. Senate and Missouri governor debated two weeks ago with the closely watched forum broadcast live on radio and TV. Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and challenger Republican Congressman Todd Akin plan to debate once more in suburban St. Louis. However, both campaigns blame the other for not having more. And prospects are uncertain whether there will be a second debate between Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon and Republican businessman Dave Spence.

In the governor’s race, Spence has accepted offers for five more media-sponsored debates while Nixon has been less eager for an encore. Spence spent much of their first debate attacking Nixon while the governor sought to defend his record on economic issues.

“Governor Nixon values debates, and in the coming days, we’ll be in touch with the different organizations that have invited us and make a determination on the best course forward,” Nixon campaign manager Oren Shur said.

Spence’s campaign insists it is not looking for a debate about debates but that having fewer than three forums before the Nov. 6 election would be a disservice.