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Union Leader to Host First GOP Debate in New Hampshire

Presidential Debate
Michael Jolly
The could be as many as 16 microphones at the Union Leader's upcoming GOP candidate forum.

The Union Leader will host its own Republican presidential debate in less than 3 weeks, part of an effort to preserve New Hampshire’s influence in the nominating process.


  The newspaper is inviting all 16 declared Republican presidential candidates to share a stage in a public forum next month. It will be the first time the GOP candidates appear together in the lead-off primary state.

Eight candidates have so far agreed to take part in the August 3 forum, to be held at St Anselm College’s Institute of Politics. The Union Leader’s forum will come 3 days ahead of another, smaller GOP debate, sponsored by Fox News. The Fox debate will be limited to 10 candidates, based on their positions in national polling. That selection process rankled many Republican leaders in New Hampshire, who say the focus on national poll results will lessen the traditional role New Hampshire and other early states play in vetting presidential candidates.

The Union Leader is co-hosting the forum with newspapers in Iowa and South Carolina. The event will be broadcast on C-SPAN and local stations in Iowa and South Carolina.

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