A debate is scheduled to be held tonight in San Luis Obisbo, between the candidates vying to fill the seat of the 15th state senate district, which spans from Santa Cruz to Santa Barbara. However, the leading vote-getter in the first special election will not be in attendance. Republican Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee will be in Sacramento, working on budget issues with fellow Republican lawmakers. That will leave the remaining candidates, John Laird, Mark Hinkle, and Jim Fitzgerald to debate the issues tonight. Blakeslee has agreed to attend 3-future debates, scheduled for august 5th, 6th, and 12th. The run-off election is scheduled for august 17th.