Democrats to start presidential primary debates in June 2019

By  | 

(AP) -- The Democratic Party will hold at least a dozen presidential primary debates from June 2019 through April 2020.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez says there will be six debates in 2019 and six in 2020.

Exact dates, locations, media partners and qualifying thresholds will be announced later. But Perez said Thursday that early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina won't host debates until 2020.

June and July debates will feature two rounds to accommodate a large field of candidates.

Candidates will be assigned at random to avoid having the party choosing who is a top-tier candidate, and the early debate qualifying threshold will consider factors other than polling.

Perez says his priority is for all candidates to have a legitimate shot to be heard.

___

Follow Bill Barrow on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BillBarrowAP .