ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Sen. Al Franken and Republican challenger Mike McFadden will debate three times before the November election.

Their campaigns announced Monday the candidates will first meet in Duluth on Oct. 1, take part in a statewide-televised debate Oct. 26 on WCCO and finish with the customary Minnesota Public Radio News debate on Nov. 2.

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Debate negotiations between McFadden and Franken occasionally spilled into public bickering, with each calling the other unfair. McFadden launched a new ad Monday that accuses Franken of dodging debates.

Franken campaign spokeswoman Alexandra Fetissoff calls the new ad absurd and says four debates — the two candidates already met in August for a forum at the annual FarmFest trade show — are sufficient.

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McFadden campaign spokeswoman Becky Alery says they’re still pushing for three more debates.

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