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Scott Brown accepts Boston media consortium debate

Senator Scott Brown’s campaign said Wednesday that he will accept an invitation to a third televised ­debate, the highest profile face-off yet, sponsored by a consortium of Boston-based news organizations.

The announcement followed Brown’s refusal to ­debate at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute, because Victoria Reggie Kennedy, widow of the late senator, ­declined his request that she stay neutral in the Senate contest. Kennedy, an active Democrat who is president of the institute’s board, had ­issued the debate invitation.

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Brown, a Republican, and his Democratic opponent, Elizabeth Warren, had previously agreed to two other televised matchups, one hosted by WBZ’s Jon Keller on Sept. 20, and another by a consortium of Western Massachusetts news organizations. Warren had also agreed to the third debate, sponsored by a Boston consortium that includes the Boston Globe.

Warren has not responded to debate requests from two radio shows, and Brown has said he will show up for those debates regardless of what his opponent does.

In a statement Wednesday, Brown’s campaign manager, Jim Barnett, again challenged Warren to accept the WBZ radio debate, hosted by conservative host Dan Rea.

“Scott Brown is accepting the debate invitation from the Boston media consortium,” Barnett wrote in a press release. “He will be at the first debate at WBZ radio on June 27, just seven days from now. We hope that ­Elizabeth Warren will stop dodging and join us next week so we can discuss the problem with her extremely liberal tax-and-spend policies.’’

Democrats had previously chided Brown for rejecting the Kennedy debate. Several hours before Brown accepted the invitation to the consortium debate, Warren’s campaign challenged the senator to agree to the offer.

“Brown laid out his conditions for debate and under his own conditions, there is nothing to stop him from accept­ing a debate hosted by a wide variety of Massachusetts media, unless he really doesn’t want to talk about his record siding with Wall Street, big corporations, and millionaires,” campaign manager Mindy Myers said.

Noah Bierman can
be reached at
nbierman@globe.com.
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