(CNN) - CNN and the St. Petersburg Times are partnering with the University of South Florida to present a live, nationally televised debate 10 days before voters choose a new U.S. senator to represent Florida.
The Oct. 24 debate will be held on USF's Tampa campus with CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley serving as moderator. It will air at 9 a.m. ET on "State of the Union with Candy Crowley."
The Times and CNN bring first-class experience and unprecedented expertise in producing political debates. The Times has coordinated debates for national, state and local offices for 16 years, and USF and the newspaper partnered with the Commission on Presidential Debates in 1996 to present the vice presidential debate between Al Gore and Jack Kemp from St. Petersburg.
"This fall's Senate debate continues our strong tradition of raising the political conversations and serving democracy," said Times Editor Neil Brown. "It serves our core mission of getting information to voters so they may make thoughtful decisions on Election Day."
CNN has a history and reputation as a major source for state, national and international political news, exemplified in its award-winning coverage of the 2008 presidential campaign that included hosting more primary debates and national forums than any other network.
"Unfortunately, Florida is experiencing many of the hardships facing the nation," said Tom Bettag, senior executive producer of State of the Union with Candy Crowley. "This forum will provide the candidates an opportunity to explain firsthand how their proposals will help turn things around."
The debate will be hosted by the USF Student Government, which also will coordinate a Debate Watch event on campus to allow participation by its politically active students.
"Eighty-five percent of registered on-campus USF students voted in the last presidential election," said Student Government President Cesar Hernandez. "We are excited that our county, state and nation recognize the importance of young voters, and of this U.S. Senate race."