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Phoenix To Host Democratic Presidential Debate In March

Phoenix has been chosen to host a Democratic presidential debate on Sunday March 15.

The state Democratic Party said Friday that no venue has been announced yet. Since the debate will occur after the March 3 Super Tuesday primary elections in 14 states, it is not yet clear which candidates will still be in the race.

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego has been working with Democratic National Committee officials to sell Phoenix as a potential debate site.

“As the fastest growing city in the nation and the largest city in a key battleground state, Phoenix is the right place for a debate," Gallego said in a statement. "Showcasing Phoenix and our diverse population represents a major win for Arizona and cements our state’s important role in selecting the next President of the United States.”

The Democratic National Committee partnered with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to bring the debate to Phoenix.

“I personally want to thank Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, Senator Kyrsten Sinema, Members of Congress Ruben Gallego and Greg Stanton, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus for their assistance throughout the selection process,” DNC Chair Tom Perez said in a statement. “Arizonans can’t ask for better local and national advocates."

Many political experts consider Arizona to be a key battleground state in 2020, after Democrats made noticeable gains in the state during the 2016 and 2018 elections.

"Arizona is a battleground state and it's clear Democrats can win here at every level of the ballot," Perez said. "After historic Democratic victories in 2018, we're putting the Republicans on defense in the Grand Canyon State."

The debate will air on CNN and Univision.

Scott Bourque was a reporter and podcast producer at KJZZ from 2019 to 2022.