The Fairfield County Democrats will host a debate between the party's two candidates for U.S. Senate -- U.S. Rep. Christopher Murphy and former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz -- on Wednesday evening, May 23 at Westport Town Hall.

The debate is planned at 7 p.m. and will be moderated by Gary Rose, chairman of Sacred Heart University's Department of Government and Politics, the Democrats said in a news release.

Murphy and Bysiewicz are competing for the seat to be vacated by the retirement of four-term Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman.

The debate is free and open to the public, the Democrats said in a news release. After the debate, refreshments will be served and people will have a chance to talk with the candidates.

Murphy is a third-term Congressman representing Connecticut's 5th District, and he lives in Cheshire.

His Senate bid has been endorsed the Connecticut Democratic Party.

Bysiewicz lives in Middletown and served 12 years as Secretary of the State, from 1999 to 2011. In 2010, she abandoned a campaign for Connecticut Attorney General after the state Supreme Court ruled she had not practiced law long enough to qualify for the job under state law.

At Saturday's state Democratic Convention in New Britain, Murphy garnered 76 percent of the delegates to easily win the endorsement. But Bysiewicz's 24 percent of delegates was enough to challenge Murphy in a primary Aug. 14.

Jim Ezzes, chairman of the Westport Democratic Town Committee, said he was happy that Democrats from across the county has joined to present the debate.

"It is important that voters make an educated decision," he said.

For more information, contact Jim Ezzes at 203-227-4861 or email him at jezzes@Westportdemcorats.org