Debates offer voters final look at St. Paul, Minneapolis mayoral candidates

Voters still befuddled by the dizzying array of candidates for mayor of Minneapolis have three opportunities this week to size up the leading candidates.

Their final scheduled debate will be held Friday at Westminster Presbyterian Church in downtown Minneapolis. MPR political editor Mike Mulcahy will moderate the forum, which airs live at noon on MPR News stations statewide. All eight of the leading candidates will participate.

Six of them have also been invited to a 7:30 p.m. debate Tuesday on WCCO Radio, 830 AM.

On Wednesday, the race devolves into political theater -- literally. The Bryant Lake Bowl will host a debate followed immediately by an improv comedy performance. Actors will attempt to transform the candidates' talking points into a comedic sketch.

While the candidates for Minneapolis mayor have faced off more than two-dozen times over the nearly year-long campaign, the race across the river in St. Paul has featured only one candidate forum so far.

Incumbent mayor Chris Coleman and challenger Tim Holden face off for their second and final debate Thursday at noon on MPR News. MPR metro editor Laura McCallum will moderate.

In addition to the radio broadcasts, the MPR debates will also be streamed live and archived online.

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