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Jun 17, 2016 4:07 PM

THIS JUST IN: Ayotte and Rubens to face off in NH1 News primary debate

NH1 News Political Director

CONCORD – NH1 News will moderate a Republican primary Senate debate between U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte and her challenger, former state Sen. Jim Rubens.

Ayotte is being challenged this year by Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan in what’s considered one of the most high profile, expensive and negative Senate showdowns in the country.

But she also faces challenge for the GOP nomination from Rubens, the Hanover Republican who also ran for the U.S. Senate in 2014. Rubens and former U.S. Sen. Bob Smith split the conservative and libertarian vote in a three-way contest won by former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown.

Ayotte's campaign told this reporter on Friday of its intention to participate in an NH1 News primary debate.

NH1 News will also hold Republican primary debates in the race for governor, the 1st Congressional District and the 2nd Congressional District, as well as a Democratic gubernatorial debate.

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