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UMass to host senate candidate forum to fill Kennedy seat

The University of Massachusetts will host the field of candidates seeking the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the death of former Massachusetts senator Ted Kennedy on Nov. 8 at Bowker Auditorium.

UMass will hold a candidate forum at 7:30 p.m. next Sunday sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts and public radio stations WFCR and WNNZ.
The forum is free and open to the public.

Candidates for the Dec. 8 primary ballot, including Democrats U.S. representative Michael Capuano, Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca and City Year founder Alan Khazei are already slated to appear in the forum, while fellow Democrat Attorney General Martha Coakley and Republicans State Senator Scott Brown and his likely challenger Jack E. Robinson have not yet agreed to participate.

The League of Women Voters said in a release that it plans to hold a second candidate forum sometime in January before the special election Jan. 19.

Bob Paquette, WFCR’s Morning Edition host, will moderate the forum at UMass, with half of the two hour event dedicated to focusing on domestic issues and half slated for discussion on international issues.

The questions for the forum will be submitted by UMass students and League of Women Voters members from around the state.

Voter registration will be taking place in Bowker starting at 6:30 p.m., the night of the forum.

“The upcoming special U.S. Senate election is of critical importance to the citizens of Massachusetts, and the League hopes that all of the candidates in the primary contests will participate in the candidate’s night,” said Zaxaro Bennett, president of the Massachusetts League of Women Voters, in a release.

Sam Butterfield can be reached at

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