COLUMBUS — The first debate between the crowned Republican and Democrat presidential nominees will take place in battleground Ohio next year.
The non-partisan Common on Presidential Debates has announced four debates in the fall of 2016. The first will take place on Monday, Sept. 26 on the campus of Wright State University near Dayton.
The remaining debates would take place on Oct. 4 at Longwood University in Farmville, Va., on Oct. 9 at Washington University in St. Louis, and Oct. 19 at the University of Las Vegas. It remains to be seen whether Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican nominee, will be onstage at any of the debates.
Ohio, specifically Cleveland, served as the site of the first Republican candidate debate this year and will host the Republican National Convention next year. No Republican has ever won the White House without taking Ohio, and no Democrat has done it since John F. Kennedy in 1960.
“With Ohio hosting the Republican National Convention in Cleveland and the first presidential debate near Dayton, there is no mistaking the critical role that the great state of Ohio plays in electing our nation’s president,” said House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger (R., Clarksville), a Wright State graduate.
“With this exciting announcement, Wright State has an opportunity to showcase everything it has to offer,” he said. “I look forward to the state partnering with the university to ensure that this important event in our democracy is successfully executed.”
Wright State, which will hold the event at its Nutter Center, was the only Ohio applicant among 16 considered by the commission. Debate formats and moderators will be announced at later dates.
“Today’s announcement is exciting news for Wright State University and for Ohio,” said U.S. Senator Sherro Brown (D-OH). “The presidential candidates will have the chance to experience the welcoming Fairborn community and, on the night of the first presidential debate, millions of Americans will tune in to see history being made at Wright State’s Nutter Center.”