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Capuano and Pressley, Galvin and Zakim set to debate

Congressman Michael Capuano and his challenger, Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley.Associated Press

They’re happening. Not meet and greets, not political forums, nor town hall gatherings. They’re official debates, widely broadcast and before a live audience, and they’re happening in a matter of weeks.

On Aug. 7, US Representative Michael E. Capuano and Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley have agreed to debate in the primary for the Seventh District, before a live audience at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Then, on Aug. 24, Secretary of State William Galvin will debate Boston City Councilor Josh Zakim in the race for Galvin’s seat before a live audience at the UMass Club on Beacon Street, ending weeks of calls from the challenger for a face-off (Galvin has countered they have already had several joint appearances).

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The two events, sponsored by The Boston Globe, WBUR, and the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at UMass Boston, will pit two long-term Democratic incumbents against progressive challengers in two of the most high-profile races in the Sept. 4 primary.

UMass Boston held a similar debate between the Democratic gubernatorial candidates on May 17.

Both debates will also be conducted as part of WBUR’s “Radio Boston” program, which airs from 3 to 4 p.m., and it will be live-streamed at bostonglobe.com, wbur.org, and umb.edu.

Meghna Chakrabarti, the show’s host, will be joined in each debate by a co-moderator from The Boston Globe. All four candidates have agreed to the debates.

David Cash, dean of the McCormack Graduate School, said in a statement, “We know voters will want to be as informed as possible when they vote in the primary in September. We strive to be a catalyst for civic discussions and are delighted to help provide this forum for the public.”

The debates will be free and open to the public, but registration will be required.

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Milton J. Valencia can be reached at milton.valencia@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @miltonvalencia.