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Kelli Ward proposes series of debates with Republican Senate challengers

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LISTEN: Kelli Ward, Republican Candidate for Arizona Senate

PHOENIX — U.S. Senate candidate and former state Sen. Kelli Ward has proposed holding a series of debates with her Republican challengers to talk about key issues in the state.

In a statement released Monday, Ward proposed holding six debates between March and August, roughly one debate per month, with local and national media outlets partnering with the lawmakers on each event.

At least two of the debates would be held on a major social media platform and on the radio, Ward proposed, with total length formats of up to 90 minutes. She did not clarify what platforms those could include.

Related: Ward goes against Trump’s immigration plan | Former chairman: Ward faces tough primary

Ward proposed dedicating at least two of the six debates to “specific themes of issues to allow [for] greater depth of discussion,” with a minimum threshold of public polling support to qualify for the series.

The debates would “provide voters the opportunity to ask questions, get in-depth answers on the issues of the day, and go beyond the everyday media filter to learn more about each of the candidates on stage will benefit everyone,” according to Ward.

“We’ve seen a lot of distractions and gridlock in Congress lately, so here in our state, we should have public debates that will help focus the attention on the issues Arizona voters are most concerned about,” Ward said.

“Taxes, spending, the economy, jobs, debt, immigration, education, security, and America’s role in the world are all on Arizonans’ minds — we should examine each of these topics thoroughly.”

Ward, McSally and Arpaio are all vying for the Republican Party’s seat for Sen. Jeff Flake’s seat. Ward first announced her candidacy in 2016, shortly after losing a primary race to Sen. John McCain.

Arpaio and McSally both announced their runs last month. Whoever wins the primary will likely face Democratic U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema in the general election in November.

Flake announced last year that he would not seek re-election, citing the “Trump factor” as a big reason why.

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