Democratic gubernatorial candidates have already been clashing at "forums" around Ohio, but March 7 will mark the first official party debate of 2018.

The encounter will be at 5 p.m. in Toledo. Taking part will be the candidates who have participated in the party's vetting process: Ohio Sen. Joe Schiavoni of Boardman, former Ohio Attorney General and U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray, former U.S. Rep. and Cleveland Mayor Dennis Kucinich and former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill.

Only Schiavoni participated in last year's Democratic matchups.

In addition to swiping at each other, participants likely will train their fire on Ohio Republicans. The event happens the day after Gov. John Kasich delivers his final State of the State address.

WTOL-TV will air the debate live. Those interested in tickets should text DEBATE to 90975.

The winner of the May 8 Democratic Primary will face either Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine or Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor in the general election.

Marty Schladen is a reporter with The Columbus Dispatch.