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Houston’s Selection To Host Dem Debate Suggests Texas May Be In Play In 2020, Turner Says

Mayor Sylvester Turner spoke at Texas Southern University, shortly after the DNC named the university as the host venue for its third round of presidential debates.

Texas Southern University president Austin Lane and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner
Andrew Schneider/Houston Public Media
Texas Southern University president Austin Lane and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner discussing TSU’s selection as the venue for the third round of 2020 Democratic presidential debates.


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Houston's selection to host the third round of Democratic presidential debates could have wider implications for Texas, and Houston leaders are already touting the choice as a sign the state is becoming more competitive.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the DNC's decision to hold the third round of debates at Texas Southern University is a recognition that Texas is more likely to be in play during the 2020 presidential election than it has been in decades.

"This is one of those times when Texas is not being written off by anybody," Turner said. "Whether you're a Republican or a Democrat or an independent, you're going to be keenly interested in what's taking place here at Texas Southern on September 12 and 13, and that's for the first time in a long time."

Houston previously was a finalist to host the 2020 Democratic National Convention, ultimately losing the prize to Milwaukee. Turner says the competition helped put Houston on the DNC's radar for debate venues.

The announcement comes three months after TSU held the She the People forum of Democratic presidential candidates. TSU president Austin Lane says that event was a test run for the university's ability to host the upcoming debates.

The third round of Democratic presidential debates will take place on September 12-13.