CLEVELAND ( WJW) — With less than two months until the Ohio May Primary, the five leading candidates vying for Senator Rob Portman’s seat will square off for the first time in hopes of gaining voter support.

The candidates: Mike Gibbons, Josh Mandel, Jane Timken, J.D.Vance and Matt Dolan will debate at FOX 8 News in Cleveland on March 21.

The hour-long debate begins at 7 p.m. and can be seen on Nexstar Stations stations and their websites across the Buckeye state. Those stations are as follows: WDTN 2 News in Dayton, NBC4i in Columbus, First News in Youngstown and right here on FOX 8 News and

Recently, an independent poll conducted by Emerson College, The Hill and Your Local Election Headquarters showed Mike Gibbons, a Cleveland banker, had surpassed longtime frontrunner Josh Mandel, former state treasurer, for the GOP nomination. According to the survey by Emerson College pollsters, Gibbons is 22 percent ahead of Mandel who stood at 15 percent in the late February polling results.

They’re followed by six other candidates with at most 8%. Nearly 4 in 10 voters, however, are still undecided.

Between Feb. 25 and 26, Emerson College Polling surveyed 723 likely voters – 313 for the Democratic primary and 410 for the Republican primary – using text-to-web, an online panel and automated phone calls.

We offered the same debate opportunity to the Democratic Senate candidates, however, we don’t have enough qualified candidates to meet our requirements.