US Reps. Markey, Lynch agree on six debates in battle for Democratic nomination for Senate

US Representatives Edward J. Markey and Stephen F. Lynch have agreed to debate each other six times in their battle for the Democratic nomination for the special election to fill former US Senator John F. Kerry’s seat.

The campaigns jointly announced the debate framework today, saying that the campaigns had agreed to three general issue debates, in Boston, Worcester, and Springfield.

Three more debates will be held in Lowell, New Bedford, and another community. Those debates will focus on single issues, one on jobs and the economy, one on domestic policy, and one on foreign policy. Which issue will be considered in which community has not yet been determined, said Markey spokeswoman Giselle Barry.

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“This agreement ensures we will debate the issues that are most important to Massachusetts in regions throughout the Commonwealth,” Markey said in a statement. “Voters deserve to hear in-depth debates on the issues facing the state and the nation, and I look forward to scheduling these as soon as possible.”

“I am glad that we have reached agreement on debates and look forward to getting started as soon as possible,” Lynch said in the joint statement. “While I would be happy to debate more frequently, the reality is that we have nine weeks left in this election, and both Ed and I have to spend time in Washington trying to fix the budget mess. So I think this debate schedule makes sense given the tight time frame of the election.”

State Representative Daniel Winslow and Gabriel Gomez, a private equity manager and former Navy SEAL, as well as former US attorney Michael J. Sullivan are vying for the Republican nomination.

The primary is slated for April 30; the general election is June 25.

The election is necessary because John F. Kerry vacated the seat to become US secretary of state.