The Western Republican Leadership Conference (WRLC) announced Wednesday that it has selected CNN to host a Republican presidential primary debate in Las Vegas on Tuesday, October 18, 2011. Nevada has been chosen by the Republican National Committee (RNC) to be one of the first states to vote in the Republican presidential primary process in 2012.
Republican leaders and activists from 16 states and territories that make up the RNC’s Western Region will meet at the The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas during the week of October 17 for the “Western Republican Leadership Conference.” The debate will take place as part of the WRLC’s four-day conference and will provide voters from across the nation an opportunity to hear Republican presidential candidates offer their visions for the future.
The full press release is after the jump.
"Republicans in Western States will play an important role in determining the next Republican nominee for president," said former Nevada Congressman Jon Porter, chairman of the Western Republican Leadership Conference. "On behalf of the Western Republican Leadership Conference, I am excited to be working with CNN on this important debate. I look forward to hosting our 2012 Presidential candidates, in Nevada and showcasing their ideas on Western and national issues."
“Nevada is the gateway to the West in the 2012 Republican presidential primary,” said Sam Feist, CNN’s political director and vice president of Washington programming. “This is an opportunity for GOP presidential candidates to speak, in person, to Nevada Caucus-goers as well as voters from the 15 other states and territories represented by the Western Region.”
WRLC attendees will have an opportunity to participate in questioning the candidates seeking the Republican presidential nomination. The Western Region includes: Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, California, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
CNN will also co-host two other debates in 2011 as previously announced. CNN, along with the New Hampshire Union Leader and WMUR-TV, will present a Republican presidential primary debate on Tuesday, June 7, 2011 in Manchester, New Hampshire. On Monday, September 12, 2011, CNN and the Tea Party Express will team up for a debate among the Republican candidates in Tampa, Florida, the site of the 2012 Republican National Convention.
The Western Republican Leadership Conference is a four-day conference designed to educate, motivate and activate Republicans from the Republican National Committee’s Western Region. Hosted by The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas in October of 2011, the event will feature Republican candidates, operatives, leaders and elected officials from around the Western Region and the nation. The WRLC will spotlight Nevada’s new and unique role as the first in the West Republican Presidential nominating contest.
CNN Worldwide, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company, is the most trusted source for news and information. Its reach extends to nine cable and satellite television networks; one private place-based network; two radio networks; wireless devices around the world; CNN Digital Network, the No. 1 network of news Web sites in the United States; CNN Newsource, the world’s most extensively syndicated news service; and strategic international partnerships within both television and the digital media.
Edie Emery, CNN/Washington
Brian Jones, Western Republican Leadership Conference