The Republican presidential primary race will be heating up Wednesday night as seven prominent candidates assembled in Las Vegas, Nevada for their first general election debate. The debate, which will take place at the Venetian Resort Las Vegas, comes at a pivotal moment in the race, as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie just gained a strong victory in New Hampshire and has emerged as the center of attention in the field of contenders. The GOP is in a unique situation where it has a plethora of capable and experienced nominees to choose from. Representing the party in the debate will be: former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum; retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson; former Florida Governor Jeb Bush; business mogul Donald Trump; U.S. Senator Marco Rubio; Texas Senator Ted Cruz; and Christie. Each candidate will bring something different to the table. Santorum has highlighted his focus on his conservative values and his fight for religious freedom. Carson brings his unique perspective to the process, and his anti-establishment attitude has made him popular with many Republican primary voters. Bush hopes to put his establishment credentials and experience as a governor to good use in Wednesday night’s debate, while Trump attempts to make his outsider status and record of success an asset. Rubio is hoping to establish himself as the party’s future with his forward-looking policies, and Cruz benefits from his record of toughness on foreign policy and immigration. And finally, Christie’s appeal is rooted in his reputation as a straight-talking governor and his ability to relate to blue-collar voters. In what promises to be a suspenseful event, the seven hopefuls will have a chance to demonstrate their abilities, while at the same time emphasizing their differences from one another. By the close of the night, the Republican field of contenders may look quite different from the seven standing on the debate stage. Whatever happens, Wednesday night’s debate will certainly be an exciting one.