First Republican presidential primary debate to be held in Milwaukee

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The first Republican presidential primary debate of the 2024 campaign will be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, according to a letter sent by the national party chair, Ronna McDaniel, to members.

She informed them that the Republican National Committee (RNC) panel that handles debates voted Thursday to hold the debate in August in Milwaukee, to coincide with the RNC's summer meetings. Milwaukee is also the site of the Republican National Convention next year, in 2024.

Future debates as well as debate criteria for candidates who wish to participate — such as fundraising minimums or polling averages — remain to be determined, McDaniel wrote.

"At this time, no other debates have been sanctioned, nor has the final criteria for the first debate been decided. The Committee will continue its work and will release updates as they become available," McDaniel said in her letter.

"We have a long way to go, but I am confident we will be able to showcase our eventual nominee in a world class fashion," added McDaniel, who was reelected as chair in a landslide vote in January.

While the Republican presidential field is expected to be crowded, so far, the field is small, with only three notable declared candidates: former President Donald Trump, former United States Ambassador to the United Nations and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, and biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy. Former Cranston, Rhode Island Mayor Steve Laffey has also declared a longshot candidacy.

Several Republicans have said they're considering a run for the White House, including former Vice President Mike Pence, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu.

In the 2016 Republican presidential primary, the first debate was held in August 2015 in Cleveland. Due to the large number of candidates, it had to be separated into two nights of debates.

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