U.S. Sen. Graham squares off against Dem. Harrison in Columbia debate

U.S. Sen. Graham squares off against Dem. Harrison in Columbia debate
Graham has held his seat for three terms and Harrison, a political newcomer, has been shown in polls as a serious contender. (Source: WIS)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS/WCSC) - In one of the most-closely-watched races in the nation, incumbent Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham faces Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison in a key race that could aid Democrats' efforts to flip the Senate.

Graham has held his seat for three terms and Harrison, a political newcomer, has been shown in polls as a serious contender.

Graham and Harrison’s debate can be watched live on Live 5 News Saturday at 8 p.m.

The debate will also be live streamed on the Live 5 News Facebook page and on live5news.com.

Several sister stations will also carry the debate on TV and online: WMBF, WIS, WTOC, WRDW and NBC affiliate WYFF. It will also air on C-Span.

Allen University says they will be hosting the debate, which will not have a live audience because of COVID-19 concerns.

They say the debate will last about one hour.

WIS says their news anchor, Judi Gatson, will serve as the moderator, while a panel of several other journalists from across the state will also ask questions.

Panelists include:

  • Bill Sharpe (WCSC)
  • Eric Weisfeld (WMBF)
  • Adam Mintzer (WIS)
  • Joe Bustos (The State)
  • Alonzo Julian (Allen University)
  • Video submitted questions from Richard Rogers (WRDW) and Mike Cihla (WTOC)

As previously mentioned, there will be no live audience and the candidates will be following all CDC guidelines.

Organizers say the candidates will be spaced 13-feet apart, as will moderator Judi Gatson and the debate panel.

They say all others in attendance will wear masks and follow social distancing protocols.

Graham and Harrison are scheduled to debate two more times before election day. Organizers say those debates will be held on Monday, Oct. 12 and Wednesday, Oct. 21.

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