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Drake to host Democratic Debate Aug. 19

August 10, 2007
Photo of George Stephanopoulos
Moderator George Stephanopoulos

CONTACT: Lisa Lacher, 515-271-3119, lisa.lacher@drake.edu

All Democratic presidential candidates have confirmed their attendance at the Iowa Democratic Debate that ABC News and ABC5/WOI-TV will conduct on Sunday, Aug. 19, in Drake University's Sheslow Auditorium in Old Main.

The live debate, moderated by ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos with additional questioning from David Yepsen of The Des Moines Register, is co-sponsored by the Iowa Democratic Party. The debate will take place from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Central Daylight Time.

The ABC Iowa Debate will run nationally as a special 90-minute edition of "This Week with George Stephanopoulos." This will be the first Democratic Presidential Debate of the 2008 cycle aired on broadcast television and the first Democratic Presidential Debate of the 2008 cycle held in Iowa. This is also the second debate of this cycle sanctioned by the Democratic National Committee.

ABC5 News will air a half-hour special analyzing the debate immediately following the event.

Drake also was the site of the ABC News Republican Debate on Aug. 5. Hosting these events fits well with the University's mission, according to Drake President David Maxwell.

"Drake University has long had a powerful commitment to serving as a place where the community comes together to address the vital issues of the day," President Maxwell said. "It is an honor and a privilege for us to serve in this capacity on a national scale in hosting these two debates."

The candidates confirmed to attend the Democratic Debate are Delaware Sen. Joe Biden; New York Sen. Hillary Clinton; Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd; former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards; former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel; Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich; Illinois Sen. Barack Obama; and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson.

"I think it's terrific that we are able to continue our 'On the Trail' series in Iowa with two live programs from a state crucial to the election process," said Stephanopoulos, anchor of "This Week" and ABC News chief Washington correspondent. "This is an historic election and I look forward to bringing our viewers the first and only presidential candidate forums on Sunday morning television."

Drake has received a limited number of tickets for the Aug. 19 debate and they will be distributed through a random drawing to students, faculty and staff the week of Aug. 13.

Drake student Jordan Oster, a junior majoring in politics and history, has been following the presidential campaign in Iowa and sharing his observations through his blog, which can be found on the Drake Web site. The blog contains many photos as well as stories from his visit to the Republican Straw Poll on Aug. 11. Oster also will share his impressions of the Aug. 19 debate through the blog.