Texas Southern University to host 3rd Democratic presidential debate

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Texas Southern University has seen presidential candidates on its campus before.

Hillary Clinton campaigned there when she was the democratic nominee.

More recently, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Beto O'Rourke came as well.

On Sept. 12, the democratic presidential primary contenders will be on stage at TSU in the third televised debate of this campaign season.

ABC will televise the debate.

The announcement was made Sunday morning on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."

TSU President, Dr. Austin Lane, applauded the selection of the university as a debate venue.

"Not only does it reflect positively on the university and the city of Houston, but it will provide students the opportunity to work directly with ABC," Lane said.

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The first debate in Miami featured a crowded stage of 20 candidates, each with their own campaign staffs, and plenty of people in attendance.

They also filled hotels, and local restaurants.

That is why the owner of This Is It Soul Food in Third Ward is looking forward to what the nationally televised debate can do for his business.

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"It's one block from campus," owner Craig Joseph said. "We have smothered pork chops, oxtails, macaroni and cheese to die for. I think the tourists who come in from across the country can enjoy our foods."

Joseph even called the event 'history in the making.'

Because Texas is now a Super Tuesday state, it increases the attention from national candidates, and the democratic sweep in many local races last year has caught the party's attention.

There's also the optics of hosting the debate at a historically black college campus.

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"That's how you get students to vote," said incoming freshman Khaji Willis.

At 18, next year's election will be his first opportunity to vote in a presidential election.

"If you want to get me interested, make all this free," he said, gesturing to the campus behind him. "I'm tired of paying for college. That's how you get my vote, straight up fact."
Sherrod Callihan, an incoming freshman who plans to major in criminal justice, doesn't know if he'll be among those attending, but he's glad it's happening on his campus.

"We're a great HBCU school, so it's really finally another way to get your name out in America," he said.

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