North Carolina’s two top candidates for the United States Senate will meet for a live debate on Spectrum News 1 Friday at 8 p.m.

This is set to be the only debate between Democrat Cheri Beasley and Republican Ted Budd before the Nov. 8 election. They are running to replace Republican Sen. Richard Burr, who did not run for reelection.

What You Need To Know

  • Spectrum News 1 will host a live debate for North Carolina's seat in the U.S. Senate on Friday, Oct. 7, at 8 p.m.

  • This is the only debate Republican Ted Budd and Democrat Cheri Beasley have agreed to before the Nov. 8 election

  • People can watch the debate live on Spectrum News 1, or through the Spectrum News 1 website and smartphone app

  • Spectrum News 1 will have a special edition of Capital Tonight at 7 p.m. Friday before the hour-long debate, and then a post-debate show beginning at 9 p.m.

People can watch the debate live on Spectrum News 1, or by using the “watch live” feature on or the Spectrum News app. 

Polls show Budd and Beasley are in a tight race that could decide the balance of power in the Senate. The Senate is currently split 50-50, with Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote.

Budd rose to the top of a crowded Republican field in the primary elections, winning the party’s nomination in May. Former President Donald Trump endorsed Budd early in the primary campaign.

Trump came back to North Carolina last month for a rally in Wilmington. The former president put his political weight behind Budd and again giving him a strong endorsement.

Friday’s debate will be the first debate for both candidates. Budd declined to participate in debates with the other top Republicans running for the nomination.

Beasley avoided a tough primary race, with North Carolina’s Democrats rallying around her as their candidate and leaving her to focus on campaigning for the General Election.

The debate, moderated by Spectrum News 1’s Tim Boyum, will focus on the top issues facing the people of North Carolina, including the economy, inflation, abortion and immigration.

Republicans in North Carolina have worked to put focus on the economy and rising prices, placing blame for inflation on President Joe Biden and Democrats.

GOP candidates should perform well in this election with the Democrats in power in Washington. The opposition party tends to gain seats in midterm elections.

But while Budd and other Republicans try to keep voters focused on the economy, Democrats have been working to keep questions over abortion access and the investigations into the former president at the top of voters’ minds.

Spectrum News 1 plans to dive into all these issues Friday night.

The station will present a special edition of Capital Tonight, starting at 7 p.m. Senior political reporter Loretta Boniti will have live interviews with the Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate, Shannon Bray, and Matthew Hoh the Green Party candidate for the seat.

The show will also feature analysis and perspective from Spectrum News 1 Washington correspondent Reuben Jones and political science experts from around North Carolina.

After the 8 p.m. debate, Spectrum News 1’s top political reporters and two political science professors will look back at the highlights, giving analysis, perspective and context.