Advertisement
  1. Florida Politics
  2. /
  3. The Buzz

Democratic presidential debate field set for Miami

Florida’s only candidate, Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam, does not make the cut.
The first Democratic presidential debates will be held June 26 and 27 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County. (Miami Herald)
Published Jun. 13

The Democratic National Committee announced the lineup Thursday for its first presidential primary debates in Miami, leaving Florida’s only candidate out of the mix and irking the governor of Montana.

With 20 people qualifying for the debate, the question was less about which of the 23 “major” candidates would make it than which candidates wouldn’t: Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, Massachusetts Congressman Seth Moulton and Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam are officially the odd men out.

In it for sure when the Democrats converge on the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts June 26 and 27 are headliners former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Close behind them in the most recent polls are Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Inside the Democratic strategy to defeat Donald Trump in Florida

The DNC and host network NBC have not yet announced which candidates will debate on which night, but those four will be part of a top-polling group that will be spread evenly across the two debates in order to avoid the perception of one of the nights being an undercard. That top tier also includes California Sen. Kamala Harris, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke and, perhaps, former U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro.

Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and entrepreneur Andrew Yang are among those who will fill out the debate stage, along with author Marianne Williamson and Congressmen John Delaney and Tim Ryan, from Massachusetts and Ohio, respectively.

Also in the debates: Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet and California Congressman Eric Swalwell.

The debates, held from 9 to 11 p.m. will be hosted by NBC’s Lester Holt and broadcast on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo. Holt will also be joined by NBC’s Savannah Guthrie and Chuck Todd, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and Telemundo’s Jose Diaz-Balart.

The 20 candidates made it into the debates by meeting polling and fundraising benchmarks set by the Democratic National Committee. Candidates could make the debates by either registering in at least three polls conducted by any of 18 sanctioned organizations, or by raising money from at least 65,000 people. Seven of the 20 candidates met only the polling benchmarks.

Bullock, the Montana governor who officially entered the race last month, has been the most critical of the Democratic National Committee’s selection process after a poll that would have made him the 21st candidate to qualify was discounted last week. On Wednesday, he sent a letter to Chairman Tom Perez stating that he’d met the criteria to make the debates and demanding a spot on stage.

“I chose to enter the Democratic primary later than most. Sure, had I jumped into the race earlier, I may have been able to raise my profile. But I had a job to do,” Bullock wrote in an op-ed published Thursday by Fortune. “I chose to enter the Democratic primary later than most. Sure, had I jumped into the race earlier, I may have been able to raise my profile. But I had a job to do.”

But Bullock failed to register in three polls released this week ahead of Wednesday’s qualifying deadline, including a Monmouth poll released the day of the deadline. And the DNC didn’t change its mind regarding the exclusion of an ABC/Washington Post poll from January that was discounted because voters were asked to name their own preferred presidential candidate rather than select from a list of candidates stated by the pollster.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Scott Israel, former Broward County Sheriff speaks during a news conference on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019, in Davie, Fla. A Florida Senate official is recommending that the sheriff, suspended over his handling of shootings at a Parkland high school and the Fort Lauderdale airport, should be reinstated. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson) BRYNN ANDERSON  |  AP
    Because Israel is a constitutional officer elected by voters, state law requires that the Senate approve or reject the governor’s decision to remove him from office and gives Israel the opportunity to...
  2. El gobernador de Florida, Ron DeSantis, hace una declaración sobre el hecho de responsabilizar a los funcionarios del gobierno en Fort Lauderdale en el Complejo de Seguridad Pública Ron Cochran el 11 de enero, luego de que nombró al ex sargento de la policía de Coral Springs. Gregory Tony reemplazará a Scott Israel como sheriff del condado de Broward. (Al Díaz / Miami Herald / TNS)
    Several Senate leaders told the Times/Herald they are prepared to accept new evidence during a daylong hearing scheduled for today. They could decide against DeSantis when they vote Wednesday.
  3. District 3 City Council candidates Orlando Acosta, left, and Ed Montanari. Scott Keeler, Chris Urso
    The St. Petersburg City Council races are supposed to be nonpartisan. Partisan politics are leaking into the campaign anyway.
  4. Protesters gathered outside the federal courthouse in Tallahassee on Monday, Oct. 7, 2019, while a federal judge heard arguments for an against the the Legislature's bill implementing Amendment 4. LAWRENCE MOWER  |  Lawrence Mower
    It’s unclear how state and county officials plan on complying with the judge’s order, however. The “poll tax” issued wasn’t addressed, either.
  5. The Florida Capitol. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times] SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The job entails being a part-time lobbyist, part-time expert on the Florida Sunshine Law.
  6. Florida K-12 Chancellor Jacob Oliva presents the state's second draft of academic standards revisions during an Oct. 17, 2017, session at Jefferson High School in Tampa. Gov. Ron DeSantis called for the effort in an executive order to remove the Common Core from Florida schools. JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |  Times staff
    ‘Our third draft will look different from our second,’ the chancellor explains.
  7. Igor Fruman, hugs Florida Governor elect Ron DeSantis, right, as Lev Parnas looks on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018 in Orlando at the watch party for DeSantis. Fruman and Parnas were arrested last week on campaign finance violations. CHRIS URSO  |  Times
    Florida’s governor has shrugged off past donor controversies. This time, there were photos. Now it’s not going away.
  8. The sun sets over a slab which once served as a foundation for a home on Mexico Beach in May. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Area leaders fear lower population numbers will lead to reduced federal funding and political representation.
  9. Senador de Florida, Rick Scott.  Foto: AP
    “The FBI has failed to give me or these families an acceptable answer, but I’m not going to allow that,” Scott said, adding that the FBI didn’t share pertinent information on shootings at Pulse, the...
  10. Courtney Wild, 30, was a victim of serial sexual offender Jeffrey Epstein beginning at the age of 14. Epstein paid Wild, and many other underage girls, to give him massages, often having them undress and perform sexual acts. Epstein also used the girls as recruiters, paying them to bring him other underage girls. Courtesy of Royal Caribbean
    Courtney Wild’s relentless quest for justice has led to a bipartisan push for sweeping reforms.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement