Democrats to hold their first presidential debates in Miami in June

Photo by Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau

Though Miami lost out to Milwaukee in hosting the Democratic National Convention next summer, the city did receive a nice consolation prize on Thursday –  it will serve as the host for the first two presidential debates leading into the 2020 race for president.

The debates will take place on the nights of June 26 and June 27, with the place, time and moderators to be announced later. They will be jointly broadcast on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo.

With one of the largest presidential primary fields still coming together, the Democratic National Committee announced last month that it would schedule the debates on back-to-back nights in prime time, with the line-ups for each night selected at random to avoid separating the candidates into tiers based on early polling.

The bar to qualify could allow some lesser known candidates the opportunity to make a name for themselves in prime time. To qualify, a candidate will either need to register at least one percent in three different polls held this year or raise money from at least 65,000 unique donors having a minimum of 200 contributors in each of at least states.

“Miami is a vibrant and dynamic city that reflects the values and diversity of the Democratic Party. I couldn’t imagine a better setting for our first debate,” DNC Chair Tom Perez in a statement.

“Miami is the perfect place to introduce our extraordinary presidential candidates to the country,” added Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo.

The latest candidate joining the Democratic presidential field is  Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam, who officially declared his candidacy on Thursday.

Mitch Perry
Mitch Perry has spent the past 18 years covering news and politics in the Sunshine State, most recently with He worked for five years as the political editor of Creative Loafing in Tampa, and before that he was the assistant news director at WMNF radio, where he served as creator/anchor/producer of the hour-long WMNF Evening News. A San Francisco native, Mitch began his career at KPFA Radio in Berkeley in the 1990's.


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