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3 Texas Sites Under Consideration for Presidential Debate

The city of McAllen, Houston Community College and Texas A&M University have applied to host a presidential or vice presidential debate in 2016, organizers announced Wednesday.

Texas A&M University in College Station.

Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.

Three locations in Texas have applied to host a presidential or vice presidential debate in 2016, organizers announced Wednesday.

Under consideration are the city of McAllen, Houston Community College and Texas A&M University. They are among 16 sites across the country vying for the opportunity to hold a debate during the general election.

Prospective hosts faced a Tuesday deadline to file an application with the Commission on Presidential Debates, the group Democrats and Republicans have entrusted to organize the debates. Applicants expect to hear back this fall about whether they have been selected to host one of the four debates up for grabs in 2016 — three for the presidential candidates and one for their running mates. 

Texas A&M, which had been expected to apply, is focusing its bid on the opportunities for civic engagement a debate could offer a state with historically low voter turnout. 

Houston Community College is specifically offering the commission its Central College in Houston's Midtown district. 

"As one of the largest and most diverse community colleges in the nation, HCC is well positioned geographically in a city that is prepared for events of this magnitude," Houston Community College Chancellor Cesar Maldonado said Wednesday in a statement. 

Omar Rodriguez, McAllen's director of convention facilities, said the city has been "at the epicenter of national attention for several years now" given its proximity to the Texas-Mexico border. Last year, neighboring Edinburg was the site of the first gubernatorial debate ever held in the Rio Grande Valley.

"We may be small, but we've seen a lot of folks come through here and pay a lot of attention," Rodriguez said. "We think it's a very good canvas for a presidential debate." 

The other applicants: 

  • Belmont University in Nashville
  • City of Birmingham, Ala.
  • Dominican University of California in San Rafael, Calif.
  • Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Ky.
  • George College & State University in Milledgeville, Ga.
  • Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.
  • Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, Fla.
  • Longwood University in Farmville, Va.
  • State University of New York Rockland Community College in Suffern, N.Y.
  • University of Nevada in Las Vegas
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • West Virginia University and West Virginia State University in Charleston, W.Va.
  • Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. 

Disclosure: Texas A&M University is a corporate sponsor of The Texas Tribune. Houston Community College was a corporate sponsor of the Tribune in 2012. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.

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Politics 2016 elections