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October 31, 2012

Final Warren-Brown debate cancelled as candidates can't agree on date

BOSTON — As voters focus on choices they'll make next Tuesday, organizers of the final planned debate between Sen. Scott Brown and Democrat Elizabeth Warren have officially cancelled the meeting, a casualty of super storm Sandy and the inability of the Brown and Warren campaigns to agree on an alternative date.

The one-hour debate had been scheduled for Tuesday at the WGBH studio in Brighton. With CNN's John King ready to serve as moderator, it represented a chance for Warren and Brown to engage one more time and appeal to voters whose verdict in the race could dictate the balance of power in the U.S. Senate.

But the match was postponed Monday as Sandy swept through Massachusetts, knocking out power to 387,000 customers and triggering a wave of emergency response efforts. On Wednesday morning, nearly 90,000 customers remained without power. Brown planned to tour storm damage in Plymouth and Warren planned campaign stops in Gloucester, Haverhill and Concord.

Warren on Tuesday said she was available to debate Thursday, an offer that went unanswered for hours by Brown. Before the offer, Brown had suggested the final debate would "certainly" occur, according to the Associated Press, but then said his campaign schedule was busy in the final days before the election.

"The Boston Media Consortium sponsoring the debate has been working with both campaigns to reschedule the match, and offered multiple alternative options. The campaigns could not agree on a new date, so the debate will not take place," the media consortium wrote in a statement issued Tuesday night.

The consortium includes The Boston Globe, Bloomberg Radio, New England Cable News, WBUR Radio, WCVB-TV, WGBH-TV, WGBH Radio and WHDH-TV.

In a statement, WGBH executive producer Linda Polach said, “This is very disappointing for all the citizens who will not have an opportunity to hear directly from the candidates a week before this important election.”

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