[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/09/22/art.sink.scott.2shot.gi.jpg caption ="Democrat Alex Sink (left) and Republican Rick Scott (right) will face off in a gubernatorial debate in Florida on October 25."]Washington (CNN) - Democrat Alex Sink accepted an invitation Wednesday to debate Republican Rick Scott next month, setting up a nationally televised showdown between the two Florida governor hopefuls on CNN.
The debate, co-sponsored by CNN, the St. Petersburg Times and the University of South Florida will take place on Oct. 25, and moderated by CNN Chief National Correspondent John King. It will be held one day after CNN, the Times and USF co-host a Senate debate moderated by CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley at the same location on the University's Tampa campus.
The Florida governor's race is considered to be one of the most hotly contested contests of the midterm election cycle. It pits Sink, the state's Chief Financial Officer, against Scott, a billionaire health executive who shocked the GOP establishment to win his party's nomination. Scott had already accepted the sponsors' invitation to participate in the debate.
The Sink and Scott debate will air live at 7 p.m. ET during a special edition of "John King, USA."
The Senate debate between Gov. Charlie Crist, former state House Speaker Marco Rubio and Rep. Kendrick Meek will be shown live at 9 a.m. on Oct. 24 on a special edition of "State of the Union with Candy Crowley." The race for the open Florida Senate seat is also one of the most closely watched races of the year. It features Crist, who abandoned the Republican Party earlier this year to launch an independent bid for Senate, the Republican up-and-comer Rubio and the highly respected Democratic congressman Meek.