SPONSORED:

DNC planning presidential primary TV debates for 2019: report

DNC planning presidential primary TV debates for 2019: report
© Getty

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is in the "very early stages" of planning for a series of televised debates in 2019, a party official said Saturday.

The Associated Press reports that a DNC official says the party is planning for several debates to occur months before the first primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire vote.

ADVERTISEMENT

The move, directed by DNC Chairman Tom PerezThomas PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE, is meant to allow the party to effectively choose from a field of candidates that the AP reports could range as high as two dozen.

“The DNC’s goal is to have a debate process that is transparent, fair, impartial and inclusive,” senior party adviser Mary Beth Cahill told the AP.

Vice Chairman Michael Blake added to the news service that the party is studying the 2016 Republican Party primary for lessons to be learned about winnowing down a large field of candidates without appearing to play favorites.

“It’s hard with that many,” Blake told the AP. “Are we starting to talk about it and think about it? Yes. Are we anywhere close to resolved? No.”

The first Democratic primary debate of the 2016 election cycle was held in October 2015. During the primary, then-DNC Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman SchultzDeborah (Debbie) Wasserman SchultzOmar feuds with Jewish Democrats Shakespeare gets a congressional hearing in this year's 'Will on the Hill' Theatres are a vital educational, creative and economic resource to communities MORE (D-Fla.) was criticized by supporters of Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight Energy: Biden seeks to reassert US climate leadership | President to 'repeal or replace' Trump decision removing protections for Tongass | Administration proposes its first offshore wind lease sale On The Money: Democrats wary of emerging bipartisan infrastructure deal, warn of time crunch Out-of-touch Democrats running scared of progressives MORE (I-Vt.) for appearing to favor Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump asks Biden to give Putin his 'warmest regards' Huma Abedin announces book deal Mystery surrounds Justice's pledge on journalist records MORE in the contest, and debate timing was scrutinized for the appearance of favoritism.

Wasserman Schultz eventually resigned as DNC chair just before the Democratic National Convention in 2016.

A large field of lesser-known Democratic candidates is expected in the 2020 election cycle, and prominent members of the party including Sanders, Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandOvernight Defense: Austin and Milley talk budget, Afghanistan, sexual assault and more at wide-ranging Senate hearing Top general: Military justice overhaul proposed by Gillibrand 'requires some detailed study' Cher apologizes for confusing Sinema, Gillibrand MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenMark Cuban: ProPublica 'not being honest' about taxes on wealthy On The Money: Bipartisan Senate group rules out tax hikes on infrastructure | New report reignites push for wealth tax New report reignites push for wealth tax MORE (D-Mass.) are all thought to be considering runs for president.

The DNC is set to vote on proposals this weekend at the party's summer meeting, including on a proposal supported by Perez to vastly reduce the influence of superdelegates in the party.