LANSING – The University of Michigan’s Crisler Center will host a presidential debate on October 15, 2020, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced Friday.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for the university community to contribute to our democracy, while setting an example of civic engagement and shining a light on the outstanding academic strengths of our institution,” U-M President Mark Schlissel said in a statement. “Public service and civic engagement are at the core of our great university and its history.”

The 2020 debate marks the first time since 1992 that the state of Michigan will host a presidential general election debate (that year a debate was held at the Wharton Center on the campus of Michigan State University). In the last two cycles it has hosted multiple debates during the primary season.

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) said in a statement the University of Michigan is uniquely situated to host a “debate experience of the highest caliber.”

“This election will be the most important of a generation. It is important that we listen to all sides. Democracy relies on vigorous debate and freedom of speech,” Ms. Dingell said. “The University of Michigan is driven by a fundamental belief in the need for open dialogue in the democratic process so its students, the citizens of the state of Michigan, and the citizens across the world engage with and participate in the electoral process.”

Michigan Republican Party Chair Laura Cox said in a statement the Michigan debate shows the path to the White House clearly goes through the state.

“It is a great honor for our state to host such a pivotal event for our democracy,” Ms. Cox said. “The Michigan Republican Party looks forward to showing the world how President Trump’s historic accomplishments have created tremendous growth, prosperity and progress in our state.”

The commission also announced two other presidential debates at the University of Notre Dame on September 29, 2020, and on October 22, 2020, at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. It also announced a vice presidential debate on October 7, 2020, at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

Additional details will be announced next year, but all debates will start at 9 p.m. and run 90 minutes without commercial interruption, the commission said.

This story published by Gongwer News Service.