Fifteen of 16 GOP 1st Congressional District candidates will face off in three separate groups tonight in North Charleston City Hall.

The forum, sponsored by the Republican Liberty Caucus, drew more than 100 onlookers as the event began at 6:30 p.m.

The candidates will speak and answer questions in groups of five. Only former Charleston County Councilman Curtis Bostic is not expected to show up.

The first group included some of the lesser known candidates, including Ric Bryant, Jeff King, Elizabeth Moffly, former Dorchester Counnty Sheriff Ray Nash, and state Rep. Andy Patrick of Hilton Head Island.

The big debate was supposed to be held on March 14, but the S.C. Republican Party announced this week that it would not hold a debate on that date but on March 28 instead. The primary is March 19, and the top two-vote getters are expected to face off in an April 2 runoff.

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