SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Oct. 11, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — The University of Utah has been selected to host a Vice Presidential debate on Oct. 7, 2020, marking the first time Utah has been chosen as the site for a national election debate.
“This really is a significant occasion for the State of Utah,” Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said at a late morning news conference from the University of Utah.
Herbert said state, university and Utah political organizers have been pursuing the opportunity for several years.
“It’s not something that happens overnight,” he said. “It’s something that has been in the works for many years. We put together a package… This is a great place to have a debate.”
Herbert said that hosting the 2020 Vice Presidential election will cost the state $5 to $6 million, and the Legislature already has approved $2 million. Fundraising will be required to raise the ballance, he said.
But the national exposure will provide Utah with a chance to publicize its business and cultural successes, he said.
“It’s a chance for us to showcase Utah,” Herbert said, mentioning Utah’s “quality of life, and the quality of the people who reside here.
“I’m ecstatic about the opportunity,” he said.
The debate is scheduled to be held at the University of Utah’s Kingsbury Hall, a news release said, adding “This is the first time a national debate will be hosted in Utah.”
Also speaking at the brief news conference were Dan Hemmert, Utah Senate Majority Whip; Thomas Wright, co-chair, Utah Debate Commission; and U president Ruth V. Watkins.
“I am delighted that the commission on presidential debates has selected the University of Utah,” Watkins said. “It will be broadcast to millions around world. first time will be national debate has been hosted in Utah. It’s kind of a big deal.”