A couple of back-to-back debates are planned this week for Missouri’s U.S. Senate and gubernatorial candidates, the AP reported.

Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill and her Republican challenger, Rep. Todd Akin, are to debate at 10:45 a.m. Friday in Columbia.

Immediately before that, Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon is to face Republican challenger Dave Spence during a 9:30 a.m. debate.

Both debates also are to include the Libertarian candidates — Jonathan Dine for Senate, and Jim Higgins for governor.

The pair of hour-long candidate forums is being sponsored by the Missouri Press Association. The debates will occur at the Holiday Inn Executive Center in Columbia. They are the first debates of the general election campaign.