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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Times to host GOP presidential primary debate with NBC, National Journal and Florida Council of 100



The St. Petersburg Times, NBC News, National Journal and the Florida Council of 100 announced Monday that they will co-sponsor a Republican presidential primary debate early next year. It will be held at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, site of the 2012 Republican National Convention.


It is the first time that presidential primary candidates will debate in the arena where one of them will return to accept the nomination.

This is expected to be the first major debate following the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries. It will be broadcast nationally, underscoring the critical importance of Florida in the 2012 election. The state has played a decisive role in recent primary and general election campaigns.

“Florida will be at the center of next year’s presidential election, and this is the state where national issues like the economy and health care loom especially large,” said Paul Tash, Times chairman and CEO. “Our debate will be a telling preview of the presidential campaign and the Republican convention, right back here at the St. Pete Times Forum.” Read more here.

[Last modified: Monday, April 11, 2011 9:03am]


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