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University of Houston to Host GOP Debate in February

The University of Houston announced Tuesday that it will host the Republican presidential debate scheduled for Feb. 26.

The first GOP presidential debate of the 2016 election cycle in Cleveland, Ohio, on August 6, 2015. Seven candidates didn't meet debate sponsor Fox News' polling criteria and met in this separate debate.

America's new prime-time hit — the GOP presidential debate — is coming to the University of Houston. 

The school announced Tuesday that it will host the Republican debate  Feb. 26, the Friday before Super Tuesday — when Texas and several other states will hold their primary elections. The event had been planned in the city of Houston for that day, but the location had not been undetermined. School officials say organizers are still trying to figure out exactly where on campus it will be. 

The GOP debates so far have been pop culture events, largely because of the popularity and recent success of Donald Trump's candidacy. Houston's will be the second-to-last of nine official Republican debates and will happen after early primaries have had the chance to winnow the field. On Super Tuesday in 2012, there were four remaining major GOP candidates — Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich. 

“This debate comes at a pivotal moment in the election cycle," said University of Houston President Renu Khator. "We’re delighted to host a national conversation with real-life impact on our community and country, and welcome an evening of engaging discourse to our campus.”

The Houston debate will air on NBC and Telemundo and will be hosted by the networks and the National Review. It will be a hometown event for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz. 

Disclosure: The University of Houston is a corporate sponsor of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.

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