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In an ongoing effort to encourage presidential candidates to participate in the Iowa caucus, the state GOP has scheduled another debate for Republican presidential candidates.
The first debate will be held in Ames in August, two days prior to the Ames straw poll, traditionally where weaker candidates are weeded out of the field.
The party announced a debate will be held at Sioux City’s Orpheum Theater the week before the Feb. 6 caucus, in what could be the final debate before the big day. The party’s statement on the new debate said more details and the exact date would be released later. Fox News will partner with the state party for both debates.
“Iowa is once again taking center stage as Republican voters embrace their responsibility of starting the nomination process, and I am proud to bring an historic piece of that process to Siouxland,” Iowa GOP Chairman Matt Strawn said in the statement.
Already a number of potential Republican presidential candidates have been parading through the state for campaign events, lectures and fundraisers. Most recently, the state party announced Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour will speak at its Chairman’s Dinner on March 15 in the Quad Cities, and Rep. Ron Paul (Texas) said he will make two trips to Iowa in March.
Sioux City and western Iowa are Republican strongholds and part of the district that Rep. Steve King (R) represents.