Democratic presidential debate to be held at UWM

Program to be broadcast live Feb. 11

Hilary Clinton will debate the other Democratic candidates in Milwaukee Feb. 11. / JStone

Milwaukee will host the Feb. 11 Democratic presidential primary debate at 8 p.m. at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Hilary Clinton will debate the other Democratic candidates in Milwaukee Feb. 11. / JStone
Hillary Clinton will debate the other Democratic candidates in Milwaukee Feb. 11. / JStone

The location was revealed Monday by PBS and WETA Washington D.C. Its PBS NewsHour program will produce the event, which will be the first time the Democratic candidates debate following the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary.

The event will be moderated by Gwen Ifil and Judy Woodruff, NewsHour co-anchors and managing editors. It will be broadcast live nationally on PBS with the help of Milwaukee Public Television and WUWM 89.7 FM and streamed online at

Milwaukee hosted a Republican presidential debate on Nov. 10 at the Milwaukee Theatre. The event brought hordes of politicians, their staff members, news media and protesters to Milwaukee.

VISIT Milwaukee estimated the debate had a $5 million to $10 million economic impact on Milwaukee and filled about 3,500 hotel rooms.

“UW-Milwaukee has a long history of promoting civil discourse on important issues facing our society, and we are proud to host the debate on our campus,” said University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Chancellor Mark Mone. “Our school is an incredibly strong academic institution with a vast alumni base, robust research profile, and deep connection to the Milwaukee community — and we very much look forward to welcoming presidential candidates here this upcoming February.”

“It is fitting that two of America’s finest journalists will guide this candidates’ debate, which will take place just days after the Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire Primary,” said Sharon Percy Rockefeller, president and chief executive officer of WETA, the producing station of PBS NewsHour. “In service to the American people, Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff will bring to bear the trademark intelligence, balance, and gravitas of one of the nation’s most trusted and respected news operations as they elicit candidates’ views on issues facing the nation. We look forward to an illuminating, engaging debate that will enrich the national political dialogue and reflect PBS NewsHour’s fundamental mission to inform and educate the public.”

“We are proud that PBS stations will broadcast this Democratic candidate debate at such a critical time in the election cycle — on the heels of the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary — and there are no better journalists to moderate than Gwen and Judy,” said Beth Hoppe, chief programming executive and general manager, general audience programming at PBS. “I know that PBS NewsHour and WETA will produce a debate that is as engaging as it is informative, and which will help the public learn more about the positions of these candidates.”

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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