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Hofstra University passes on presidential debate bid

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on stage at the Hofstra University debate in Hempstead on Monday, Sept. 26, 2016. Photo Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa

Hofstra University won't be on a list of locations for the 2020 presidential debates when they're announced next month.

Hofstra, the only university to have hosted three consecutive presidential debates, was not among the applicants to the Commission on Presidential Debates, which selects host sites.  

“We chose not to apply this cycle,” said Hofstra spokeswoman Karla Schuster, who declined to elaborate. 

The Commission on President Debates in April announced six applicants: Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn.; the City of Hartford, Conn.; Creighton University in Omaha, Neb.; the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor; the University of Notre Dame in Indiana; the Utah Debate Commission and the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. 

Hosting a presidential debate takes months of planning and the institution spends millions of dollars to pull it off. But the presidential debates at Hofstra in 2008, 2012 and 2016 provided unique educational opportunities for students and drew international attention to the university.

In 2008 at Hofstra, Democrat Barack Obama, then an Illinois senator, faced off against Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona. In 2012, Obama, seeking re-election, and Republican Mitt Romney, then a former Massachusetts governor and now a U.S. senator, debated there. In 2016, Hofstra hosted the Sept. 26 debate between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton.

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