GOP Debate: Presidential Candidates Face Off In California Ahead Of 2012 (LIVE UPDATES)

Eight Republican candidates are facing off in California's first presidential debate of the election season on Wednesday night.

The forum, hosted by NBC News and Politico, marks the first for Rick Perry since the Texas governor announced his candidacy for president of the United States. The following GOP contenders will also participate in the primary event: U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), Texas Governor Rick Perry, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

Below, a live blog of the latest developments to unfold in the Golden State.

Below, a mash-up of highlights from the last Republican presidential debate in Iowa last month.

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