MGN Online

Published: Feb 03, 2014 6:00 AM EST

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - The candidates seeking to replace the late Congressman Bill Young are preparing to face off in a Florida special election.
    
Republican David Jolly, Democrat Alex Sink and Libertarian Lucas Overby will participate in an hour-long debate at St. Petersburg College Monday.
    
Sponsored by AARP, the event gives the three candidates their first chance to directly address each other in a contentious campaign that is already drawing national attention.
    
As the first major match-up in advance of this year's midterm elections, the contest is shaping up to be the proving ground for political arguments Republicans and Democrats hope will resonate with moderate voters in November.
    
Both major political parties are spending millions of dollars to flood the airwaves with attack ads in the swing-voting district. The special election is March 11.

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