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Democratic supporters cheer at the the Nevada Democratic Party election night event at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. (Daniel Clark/The Nevada Independent)

Nevada will host one of a dozen sanctioned debates the Democratic National Committee is putting on during the 2020 presidential primary cycle, DNC Chair Tom Perez confirmed Tuesday.

Perez, in an interview with The Nevada Independent, said that the Silver State will “absolutely” host one of the debates, though he anticipates it will be after the New Year to time it more closely with Nevada’s Feb. 22, 2020 first-in-the-West caucus. During the last presidential election cycle, Nevada hosted the first Democratic presidential debate at Wynn Las Vegas on Oct. 13, 2015.

“We look forward to that debate,” Perez said. “We haven’t set the time of that debate yet, but we look forward to having one in Nevada, and I’m confident it will be a debate that will be well-watched and spirited.”

The first Democratic presidential debate will take place over two days next month in Miami. The Democratic National Committee is allowing up to 20 candidates to participate between the two nights of the debate, June 26 and 27.

“Our goal in all of the debates — Nevada and elsewhere — is to ensure that every single candidate gets a fair opportunity to communicate her or his vision to the American people,” Perez said. “We’ve taken unprecedented steps to ensure a fair process.”

To qualify for the first two debates, candidates must have a minimum of 1 percent support in a minimum of three approved polls at either the national level or for the first four primary states — Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina — or have received a minimum of 65,000 unique donors, with at least 200 unique donors per state in at least 20 states.

“I think all of those things are going to enable candidates to get to the stage and to, again, have a real robust debate,” Perez said.

To date, 18 of the 22 announced Democratic presidential candidates have qualified for the debates. Candidates will draw lots to determine whether they will participate in the first or second night of the debate.

Perez’s comments came during an interview for the IndyMatters podcast that will air next week. Check back then for a full rundown of what to expect ahead of Nevada’s caucuses next year.


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