3rd Democratic presidential debate to be held in Houston

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Democratic presidential candidate former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, third from left, answers a question, during a Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Art, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

HOUSTON (AP) — The third Democratic presidential debate will be held in Houston in September.

The more than two dozen candidates in the crowded 2020 Democratic primary face tougher requirements to appear in the fall debates than in the summer debates.

Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement:

“Texas is a battleground state, period. We know that when Texas goes blue, the White House will follow. We are pleased that our partners at the Democratic National Committee have agreed to host the third Presidential Debate here in Texas.”

The Democratic National Committee is requiring participants to hit 2% in multiple polls and collect contributions from 130,000 individual donors. Only polls taken between June 28 and Aug. 28 will count.

Twenty candidates qualified for the opening round of debates in June and July. The stricter rules for the fall debate could dramatically winnow the field.

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