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Galvin and Zakim’s first major debate in Secretary of State race turned ugly — quickly

Longtime incumbent Bill Galvin and his challenger Josh Zakim (right) debated on WGBH's Greater Boston with Jim Braude (left). –Meredith Nierman/WGBH News

The first televised debate between Secretary of State William Galvin and his Democratic challenger, Boston City Councilor Josh Zakim, quickly turned into a rancorous battle between the long-time incumbent and upstart candidate.

Out the gate on Tuesday evening, Galvin accused Zakim of making “misstatements’’ on his record — while Zakim accused Galvin of building an “empire’’ after two decades that allowed him to use his office for political gain.

“This anger you have is an example of why challenges in a democracy are so important,’’ Zakim, 34, said.

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