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5 things to keep in mind as Fla gov debates begin

Published Oct. 10, 2014

Adam C. Smith, Times Political Editor

Thursday, October 9, 2014 9:35pm

In 25 days, Florida elects a governor.

We've reached that phase of Florida's neck-and-neck governor's race where the voting is underway, the millions of dollars in nasty TV ads make less and less difference and barring an October surprise, there is probably one real opportunity to shift the overall narrative of the campaign: debates.

It starts Friday when Gov. Rick Scott and former Gov. Charlie Crist make their first joint appearance in the Telemundo TV studios in South Florida.

The 7 p.m. pre-taped debate could be critical for the campaigns' efforts to win over Hispanics, who make up 14 percent of registered voters. The questions will be in Spanish, and the answers from Crist and Scott will be dubbed over by a Spanish interpreter for the TV audience.

But it is also a dress rehearsal for two live debates aimed at the broader electorate, next Wednesday from Broward College and Oct. 21 on CNN from Jacksonville.

As debate season gets underway, here are five things to keep in mind:

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