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Cravaack, Nolan meet in 1st debate in Minn.'s 8th

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack faces Democratic challenger Rick Nolan for the first time on a debate stage in Minnesota's most watched House race.

Tuesday's debate in Duluth is the first of three between the first-term incumbent and Nolan, a former congressman.

The candidates are expected to show sharp contrasts in their political views after clashing over Medicare, mining and other issues.

Cravaack is running for re-election after his surprise defeat of 36-year Democratic Rep. Jim Oberstar two years ago.

Nolan is trying to make a political comeback after serving three terms in the House in the 1970s and early 1980s.

TV airwaves in the Duluth and Minneapolis-St. Paul markets have been flooded with ads about the race, with spending by outside groups approaching $4 million.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.