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*-- Sanders, Clinton finally agree to debate April 14 in Brooklyn --*

NEW YORK - After days of bickering over a date and location, Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have finally agreed to debate April 14 in Brooklyn, five days before the New York primary.

Vermont Sen. Sanders agreed to the date after rescheduling a rally in New York City planned for that evening.

"The Clinton campaign disingenuously announced that it had agreed to a debate on another day when it knew very well that Sen. Sanders already had locked in a park permit for a major rally in New York City," Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs said in a statement/ "Let's get serious. Let's get on with debating the candidates' stands on serious issues affecting New York and the United States."

The debate at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a historic producer of warships, and now a manufacturing and commercial facility, will be co-sponsored by CNN and NY1, a regional cable news outlet. Wolf Blitzer of CNN is set to moderate the 9 p.m. debate, with CNN's Dana Bash and NY1's Errol Louis questioning the candidates.

At Sanders' insistence, the New York State Democratic Party will not be involved in the proceedings, despite the April 19 primary. In general, the Sanders campaign has discouraged the participation of state parties in the numerous Sanders-Clinton debates because they typically support Clinton.

While both campaigns were publicly amenable to the debate, they argued for days over a date and venue. The impasse was evidently broken by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Clinton supporter, who in a message to Sanders said, "Let's make NY1 4/14 BKLYN debate happen. I'll help you secure any permit you need to ensure your NYC rally can happen too."

Clinton currently holds a sizeable lead in delegates over Sanders. There are 291 delegates at stake in the New York primary.


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