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In their only scheduled debate before election day, the two Democrats vying for California’s open U.S. Senate seat clashed as much over personal style as policies in what was a frenzied and often caustic event compared with a campaign that has seemed to amble through a long, sleepy few months.

Neither candidate, Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris nor Orange County Rep. Loretta Sanchez, seemed willing to admit during Wednesday night’s debate that the two might share similar positions on a number of issues.

Instead, the women returned time and again to their different approaches to public service. Sanchez made clear that she viewed Harris as a candidate who “talks a good story,” while Harris took aim at what she suggested were gaping holes in Sanchez’s congressional record.

At times, the veteran congresswoman seemed exasperated with the national attention her opponent has received in the Senate race. Harris has been endorsed by President Obama, Vice President Biden, Gov. Jerry Brown and a number of prominent interest groups aligned with Democratic party politics.

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