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A once doubtful occurrence, Budd and Beasley set to debate

Cheri Beasley and Ted Budd are set to debate on Oct. 7. Strategists weigh in on likely themes of that debate.
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Former N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley and Rep. Ted Budd win their party's nominations for U.S. Senate. 

What we thought wouldn’t happen in North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race is set to occur. Democrat Cheri Beasley and Republican Ted Budd are scheduled to debate on October 7.

Budd had refused to debate his Republican opponents in the primary — and until September gave no indication he was going to agree to a debate with Beasley. Perhaps polls that show the race is very close have something to do with that. So with the race heating up, we’re focused on their campaigns today.

Tim Funk and Jim Morrill will talk to Democratic and Republican strategists who have a lot of experience working on high-profile campaigns in North Carolina. Republican Paul Shumaker, whose clients have included U.S. Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, will talk to Jim later in the show. First up is Democratic strategist Morgan Jackson.

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Steve Harrison is WFAE's politics and government reporter. Prior to joining WFAE, Steve worked at the Charlotte Observer, where he started on the business desk, then covered politics extensively as the Observer’s lead city government reporter. Steve also spent 10 years with the Miami Herald. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, the Sporting News and Sports Illustrated.
Tim Funk is one of the hosts of the "Inside Politics: Election 2022 podcast." He spent most of his 40-year journalism career at The Charlotte Observer, covering politics in its Raleigh bureau and, later, as its Washington correspondent. His other Observer beats over the years included race and immigration, TV and radio, and faith & values.
Jim Morrill is a native of the Chicago area who's worked in the Carolinas since 1979. He covered politics and government for the Charlotte Observer for almost 40 years. He's won several press awards and in 1999 was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard. He's taught about NC politics at UNC-Charlotte and Davidson College.