Key differences emerge during first debate among NC Republicans vying for GOP Senate nomination

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Republican candidates for U.S. Senate in North Carolina debated for the first time as the wide open race inches toward the primary.

Former Governor Pat McCrory, former Congressman Mark Walker, and combat veteran Marjorie K. Eastman took the stage for more than an hour in the debate that streamed live on ABC11.com and the ABC11 North Carolina apps.

Rep. Ted Budd, the candidate endorsed by former President Donald Trump, was invited to participate but never formally responded to debate organizers.

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Former Governor Pat McCrory, former Congressman Mark Walker and combat veteran Marjorie K. Eastman all squared off for more than an hour Saturday.



The discussion, co-moderated by ABC11 and the Carolina Journal, covered issues related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Supreme Court, education, jobs, and wages, among other topics.

The four candidates are vying to win the nomination and appear on the general election ballot opposite the presumptive Democratic nominee Cheri Beasley, the former Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court.

The race for U.S. Senate in North Carolina is expected to be among the most expensive U.S. Senate race in history to fill the seat of retiring Sen. Richard Burr.
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