Missouri Senate candidates square off in first debate

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Republican U.S. Senate candidate Josh Hawley has pushed hard at a debate to paint Claire McCaskill as “another Washington liberal,” a phrase he repeated over and over, while the incumbent Democrat touted herself as a moderate compromiser.

The Missouri Press Association on Friday hosted a candidate forum in suburban St. Louis that featured the two major party candidates as well as two others.

The race is among the nation’s most closely-watched campaigns, with control of the Senate potentially at stake. Polls indicate it’s a toss-up.

Hawley, the state’s attorney general, has the support of President Donald Trump. At least seven times during the debate he referred to McCaskill as “another Washington liberal.”

McCaskill says she supports the president when it benefits Missouri and opposes him when it does not.

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