Washington University opts out of 2020 Presidential debate race

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ST. LOUIS, MO- Washington University officials confirmed Thursday that they have informed the Commission on Presidential Debates of the school’s decision to not pursue hosting responsibilities for Presidential or Vice-Presidential debates in 2020.

The campus hosted an October 2016 Presidential debate featuring Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. It was during that debate that the world was introduced to Ken Bone, a Metro East man who was among the audience members who asked the candidates questions and became known for his red sweater.

“Please know that this decision did not come easily and was the result of numerous conversations with faculty, staff, students, members of Washington University’s Board, my predecessors, and other significant university stakeholders,” Chancellor-elect Andrew Martin wrote in a letter to the CPD last week.

The school has hosted more of the events than any other institution in the country, starting with the Presidential debate in 1992 between George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and H. Ross Perot.  A 1996 Presidential debate was scheduled on campus but was cancelled.

The Washington University letter left the door open for consideration to host in future campaign cycles.

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