CNN and the Southern Republican Leadership Conference (SRLC) will host a Republican presidential town hall debate in Charleston, South Carolina on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012, as part of the SRLC’s biennial conference. South Carolina has been chosen by the Republican National Committee (RNC) as one of the first states to vote in the Republican presidential primary process in 2012.
Read the full release after the jump.
“On behalf of the Southern Republican Conference Board of Directors, we are very excited to be working with CNN on this important presidential town hall debate,” said Ed McMullen, chairman of the SRLC board of directors. “We look forward to hosting our 2012 presidential candidates, and showcasing their conservative ideas.”
“We welcome Republican candidates to our great state for what will be an important policy discussion about the future of our nation.” said South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, chairman of the SRLC.
“Because of South Carolina’s role as the first-in-the-South, as well as the many southern states that vote on Super Tuesday, this debate provides 2012 GOP hopefuls an occasion to reach their key constituency in South Carolina and throughout the southern region,” said Sam Feist, Washington bureau chief and SVP of CNN. “Not only will the candidates have the chance to address top southern Republicans in person, the primary voters attending the conference also will have an opportunity to directly question their candidates for president.”
Republican leaders from the 14 states that make up the RNC Southern Region will meet in downtown Charleston during the week of Jan. 19, 2012 for the conference. The presidential town hall debate will take place as part of the SRLC’s three-day conference, where they’re expecting in excess of 2,000 attendees. Republican presidential candidates have a long tradition of speaking at, attending, and actively participating in this conference. The Southern Region includes: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.
In addition, CNN will produce three 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 Monday, June 13, 2011 in Manchester, New Hampshire. On Monday, Sept.12, 2011, CNN, along with the Tea Party Express, will have a debate with the Republican candidates in Tampa, Florida, the site of the 2012 Republican National Convention. The Western Republican Leadership Conference has also selected CNN to host a GOP primary debate in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011.
The Southern Republican Leadership Conference brings top Republican activists, donors, candidates, and elected officials together for three days of inspiring speeches, issue briefings, and political training from candidates, party leaders, and other prominent Conservatives. The SRLC will be held at various well-known and historical venues in Charleston, South Carolina January 19-22, 2012.
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