U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) and GOP Senate nominee Josh Hawley will face off in a candidate forum for the first time Friday afternoon in eastern Missouri’s Maryland Heights.

The Missouri Press Association Logo (courtesy of Missouri Press Association 

Senator McCaskill is seeking her third six-year term in Washington, and is being challenged by Republican Attorney General Hawley.

McCaskill and Hawley are participating in Friday’s 3 p.m. Missouri Press Association (MPA) candidate forum at the Sheraton Westport Chalet Hotel in Maryland Heights.

Maryland Heights is a St. Louis suburb.

MPA Executive Director Mark Maassen tells Missourinet about 200 to 250 people will attend the forum, primarily newspaper editors and newspaper reporters.

The event is not open to the general public.

Third-party candidates have also been invited to participate.

The third-party U.S. Senate candidates are Libertarian nominee Japheth Campbell and Green Party nominee Jo Crain.

Senator McCaskill and Attorney General Hawley spoke at back-to-back sessions at a Missouri Farm Bureau forum in August, but did not appear together.

The issue of health insurance, particularly pre-existing conditions, has been a key issue that both candidates have discussed in the race.

The Missouri Press Association is also sponsoring a forum at 1:30 Friday at the same location for the State Auditor contenders.

State Auditor Nicole Galloway (D) was appointed to the post in 2015 by former Governor Jay Nixon (D), after then-State Auditor Tom Schweich (R) committed suicide.

Galloway is seeking her first full term as auditor, and is being challenged by Republican Saundra McDowell of Jefferson City.

The third-party candidates for auditor have also been invited to participate.

The third-party State Auditor candidates are Libertarian nominee Sean O’Toole, Green Party nominee Don Fitz and Constitution Party nominee Jacob Luetkemeyer.

Both forums are open to MPA members attending the organization’s convention, along with working members of the news media.

Associated Press Jefferson City chief correspondent David Lieb will moderate both forums.

MPA, which is a statewide newspaper organization headquartered in Columbia, is holding its 152nd annual convention at the Sheraton Westport Chalet.

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