TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- The first debate has been set in New Jersey's U.S. Senate race.

Cory Booker (Spencer Platt, Getty Images)

Incumbent Democrat Cory Booker and his little-known Republican challenger, Jeff Bell, will face each other in a televised debate on Oct. 25, organized by the League of Women Voters, WPVI-TV Philadelphia and WABC-TV New York.

A recent poll of registered voters showed Bell trailing the Democratic incumbent by an unexpectedly close 10 percentage points, even though most voters don't know who Bell is.

Bell says he's looking forward to contrasting his ideas with Booker's and accused the former Newark mayor of failing to put forward a comprehensive economic plan. Booker's campaign manager hit back, charging Bell with clinging to "discredited and extreme policies" that would hurt women, the middle class and seniors.

Booker's spokeswoman says he is considering other invitations as well.

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