Sen. Casey presses DNC for presidential debate in Pennsylvania

Sen. Casey presses DNC for presidential debate in Pennsylvania

Sen. Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick Casey2020 Democrats put spotlight on disabilities issues Why Congress needs to bring back tax deduction for worker expenses Biden cements spot as 2020 front-runner MORE Jr. (D-Pa.) on Monday pressed the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to hold at least one of its 2020 presidential primary debates in the Keystone State in a letter to the group's chairman.

Casey, writing to DNC Chairman Tom PerezThomas Edward 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, called President TrumpDonald John TrumpA better VA, with mental health services, is essential for America's veterans Pelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote Trump arrives in Japan to kick off 4-day state visit MORE's triumph in the state in 2016 — making him the first Republican to win there in a presidential election since 1988 — a “wake-up call,” and credited the state and national Democratic Party efforts for regaining ground in the 2018 midterms, including decisive reelection victories for himself and Gov. Tom Wolf (D).

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To repeat these successes in 2020, Casey wrote, “we have to do everything we can to fight for every vote, here in Pennsylvania and across the country,” which he argues should include hosting one of the 12 debates in the state.

“Pennsylvania is the fifth largest state in the Nation and at the center of innovation in critical areas such as medicine, energy and higher education,” Casey wrote. “Its sprawling rural populations and urban cores reflect a cross-section of America that can be found together in few other states, reflecting a diversity that is indicative of the broad and varied coalition Democrats hope to build this cycle.”

Nancy Patton Mills, chairwoman of the state Democratic Party, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette she was in touch with national party officials “all the time” and that they were aware of how significant the state would be in the party’s hopes of an electoral college victory against Trump in 2020.

“This is ground zero for the presidential election, and having a debate here in Pennsylvania will be extremely important,” Patton Mills said Monday, according to the Post-Gazette.

The DNC has already announced its first debates will be held June 26-27 in Miami and July 30-31 in Detroit, with all remaining locations to be determined.

The DNC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.