As Florida plans to move their primary up to Jan. 31, 2012, speeding up the GOP presidential nomination process, CNN and the Republican Party of Florida announced today they will co-host a debate. It will take place at the end of January in Jacksonville, Fla. among the 2012 Republican presidential candidates in the pivotal early voting state.
“With the Florida Republican primary now scheduled for Jan. 31, that state’s central role in helping Republicans choose a nominee is now secure,” said Sam Feist, CNN Washington bureau chief and senior vice president. “CNN is proud to present voters in Florida an opportunity to hear from the candidates one final time before they head to the polls.”
“The Republican Party of Florida is excited to be working with CNN for a debate linked to the state’s primary date,” said Republican Party of Florida Chairman Lenny Curry. “The opportunity to host it in my home city, Jacksonville, helps shine the spotlight on another Florida city that our eventual nominee must win.”
Florida Governor Rick Scott said of the announcement, “After national debates in Tampa and Orlando, this latest partnership with CNN for a debate in Jacksonville in January demonstrates the crucial role Florida will play, not only in the Republican Presidential Primary, but in the general election next November.”
This debate is in addition to three other debates previously announced: CNN and the Western Republican Leadership Conference will present a debate on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada; CNN and the Arizona Republican Party will produce a debate on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011 in Arizona; and CNN and the Southern Republican Leadership Conference will co-host a debate on Thursday, January 19, 2012 in Charleston, South Carolina. These presidential debates are in addition to two separate Republican primary debates hosted by CNN earlier this year, with Hearst Television’s WMUR and the New Hampshire Union Leader in June 2011 and the Tea Party Express in September 2011.
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