Democratic presidential debate held at the University of Michigan-Flint, 2016 | Susan J. Demas
A swarm of Democratic presidential candidates will descend on Detroit this summer for a primary debate hosted by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and CNN.
The DNC announced on Tuesday that the Motor City will have a two-night debate spanning July 30 and 31, with specific details including time, location and moderators to be announced at a later date, according to reports.
We’re headed to the Motor City! We’re proud to announce that together with our media partner @CNN we will host our second presidential primary debate July 30 – 31 in Detroit.
— The Democrats (@TheDemocrats) April 2, 2019
The debate could potentially feature up to 20 candidates, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Noting that Michigan will likely serve as one of a few key battleground states in the 2020 election, Michigan Democratic Party (MDP) Chair Lavora Barnes said in a statement that Detroit is therefore a natural location for a primary debate.
“The road to the White House runs through Michigan, and we are pleased that our partners at the Democratic National Committee have decided to hold one of our party’s all-important presidential debates here,” Barnes said.
“The issues we face in Michigan are not confined to our peninsulas,” she continued. “Protecting healthcare, creating good jobs, investing in public education, cleaning up our water, and fighting for hardworking people who want a level playing field are the concerns of all Americans.”
Michigan has already become a popular stop for the party’s presidential candidates. Both U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) made stops in southeast Michigan last month. Meanwhile, Republican President Donald Trump held a “Make America Great Again” rally in Grand Rapids last week.
During the Flint water crisis, the city hosted a primary debate for 2016 Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who is running again in 2020. Detroit hosted a 2016 GOP primary debate, as well.
Milwaukee has been picked as the site of the 2020 Democratic National Convention in another sign that Democrats view the Midwest as integral to retaking the White House.
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