Updated: Monday, 15 Oct 2012, 1:32 PM EDT
Published : Monday, 15 Oct 2012, 12:35 PM EDT
CLEVELAND (AP) - The first of three debates in the race for Ohio's U.S. Senate seat took place in Cleveland Monday afternoon.
Incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown will faced off against Republican challenger Josh Mandel in what already has been a combative campaign.
It's also one of the most costly and closely watched U.S. Senate races.
Republicans seeking to gain Senate seats are targeting Brown who won a surprise victory six years ago.
Brown says Mandel has been more concerned about running for a higher office than doing his job as state treasurer. Mandel counters that Brown is a career politician who is too liberal for the state.
Both campaigns and outside groups have spent millions flooding the air waves with campaign ads that have taken on a nasty tone leading up to the November election.