House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn of South Carolina said he was touched the debate will be held at his alma mater.
"I fully expect that the leading Democrats who are considering a run for the presidency, will not miss this opportunity to travel to Orangeburg and meet the terrific students, faculty and staff of S.C. State for this historic occasion," Clyburn said.
Last summer, the Democratic National Committee sought to expand the early primary field in order to reach out to African American voters as well as Hispanic voters. South Carolina was selected because of the prominence of African American voters in its Democratic Primary. South Carolina Democrats also held a First in the South Primary in 2004.
That the debate will take place at South Carolina State, a Historically Black College, underscores the importance that African Americans will play in the Southern Primary. Jim Clyburn's influence in Washington and in South Carolina will ensure the debate is widely attended by all would-be candidates.
As with the debate held by SC Dems in the 2004 cycle, this debate will bring much attention to the Palmetto State. I have no doubt that my fellow SC Democrats will make us all proud with a first class event to showcase the talent we will have heading into the 2008 Presidential election.