An HBCU will host a general election presidential debate for the first time

For the first time in U.S. history, a general election presidential debate will be hosted at a historically Black college or university. 

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced Monday that Virginia State University in Petersburg, Virginia, will host the second debate of the 2024 general election cycle Oct. 1. 

“We are honored and grateful to have been chosen as a host for a 2024 Presidential Debate,” VSU President Makola M. Abdullah said in a news release. “This is a historic moment for our university and for HBCUs nationwide.” 

Additional debates will be hosted at Texas State University — a Hispanic-serving institution — on Sept. 16 and the University of Utah on Oct. 9, the commission said. A vice presidential debate will be held at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania on Sept. 25. 

“In 2024, students at our four debate sites will help bring another set of historic conversations to audiences here and abroad. And their campuses will anchor four unique chances to listen and learn,” the commission said in a statement announcing the locations. 

The commission did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

The GOP’s presidential primary candidates have faced off in three debates hosted by the Republican National Committee so far this year. Former President Donald Trump, the Republican front-runner, has not attended any of those debates. 

A fourth Republican debate is scheduled for Dec. 6 and will be held at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa.

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