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BUFFALO, NY - Some call the race for the New York State Assembly seat currently held by Crystal Peoples-Stokes (D) very heated. The incumbent is being challenged by former New York State Senator Antoine Thompson. Tonight, the two will square off for a debate along with local citizen Veronica Nichols.

Peoples-Stokes has been in the state legislature for 12-years. She replaced former deputy speaker Arthur O. Eve when he retired from the Assembly.

Thompson spent four years in the State Senate before losing to Republican Mark Grisanti in 2010.

Thompson told 2 On Your Side's Claudine Ewing, "I'm running because I strongly believe that we need an advocate in Albany that is going to focus on putting people back to work in the 141-Assembly district."

Peoples-Stokes says she wants to remain in Albany because she "understands the value of building relationships."

Watch Claudine's report on the two candidates.

The debate will also feature Senator Timothy Kennedy (D-63) and his challenger Erie County Legislature Minority Leader Betty Jean Grant.

The Democratic State Senate and Assembly candidates will debate from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Burchfield Penney Art Center, 1300 Elmwood Ave.

The Senate candidates will debate at 7 p.m. and the Assembly candidates will debate at 8 p.m.

The event is sponsored by the Buffalo Association of Black Journalists and Burchfield Penney.

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