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Democratic Senate debates set; Glassman agrees to 2 of 3

Three of the four candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate have agreed to a series of primary debates around the state.

John Dougherty, Randy Parraz and Cathy Eden have agreed to participate in three debates, while Rodney Glassman will appear at two of them.

The debates will be held Friday, July 9, in Phoenix, televised on KTVK Channel 3; Wednesday, July 21, on National Public Radio's Yuma affiliate, KAWC; and Thursday, August 5, on KUAT in Tucson, said Dougherty's campaign Thursday night.

Glassman will appear at the Phoenix and Tucson debates, spokesman Blake Morlock said Friday.

Dougherty, a former investigative reporter for the Phoenix New Times, challenged the other candidates to debates in a June 2 letter.

Parraz is a Phoenix-area attorney and labor organizer. Eden is a former state representative. Glassman is a former Tucson city councilman who resigned to pursue the Senate nomination.

Glassman, who waited until early April to officially announce his candidacy, was early on considered the likely nominee. The late entry of the other three candidates has turned the race into a toss-up.

A recent poll shows 46 percent of Democrats haven't made up their mind yet, and 14 percent back a candidate other than the top four.

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Glassman was criticized by the other candidates and their backers for not immediately agreeing to the debates.

Glassman, speaking at a meeting of the Tucson Democratic discussion group Drinking Liberally on Sunday, said "There will be debates, but we're working through neutral organizations."

His spokesman Blake Morlock said Sunday that the campaign was seeking an appropriate sponsor for a debate or debates.

Arizona's primary election is Aug. 24.

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Glassman, Parraz, Eden and Dougherty (clockwise from top left).

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