Belmont University in Nashville to host presidential debate in 2020

Belmont University is hosting a presidential debate in 2020, the university announced Oct. 11.

The third and final presidential debate will be held on campus Oct. 22, according to University President Bob Fisher.

"Our desire to host this event along with countless city and state-wide debates on this campus stems from our desire to contribute to the democratic process through civic-minded service," Fisher said at a press conference. "We don't want to simply talk about our mission to engage and transform, we want to live it out."

The university was among six applicants competing to host a debate, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced in a news release in April. The other applicants included the City of Hartford, Connecticut, as well as Creighton University, the University of Michigan, the University of Notre Dame and the University of Utah.

The University of Michigan and the University of Notre Dame were also selected to host presidential debates. The University of Utah will host the vice presidential debate Oct. 7.

Belmont previously hosted a debate between Barack Obama and John McCain in 2008 and served as an alternate host site in 2016, according to the university.

"In 2008, the town hall debate was a transformative moment for our university," Fisher said. "It changed the way we thought about ourselves. We thought that if we can pull this off, we can do anything."

The university's application for a 2020 debate included letters of support from state and local officials, including Sen. Lamar Alexander, Sen. Marsha Blackburn, Rep. Jim Cooper, Gov. Bill Lee and former Mayor David Briley.

Additional details about the debates will be announced in 2020, according to the CPD. All debates are 90 minutes without commercials.


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