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Wright State University Won't Host First Presidential Debate

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Wright State University

Wright State University is withdrawing as host of the first presidential general election debate, citing rising security concerns and costs.

Wright State University President David Hopkins made the announcement during a news conference Tuesday afternoon to explain the decision to pull out of the scheduled Sept. 26 debate.

Hopkins says the school in Dayton has a large, open campus and there have been concerns about what it would take to "guarantee the safety and security" of the school and the surrounding community.

In a statement, Wright State board Chair Michael Bridges says the move is the responsible thing to do.

“While the community has been overwhelmingly supportive of Wright State hosting the debate, the safety and security of the campus and community is of paramount importance.”

The university estimates hosting the debate would cost between $3 million and $5 million, and possibly even up to $8 million. Hopkins says additional security costs would only increase the university's financial burden.

The Commission on Presidential Debates issued a statement saying it appreciated Wright State's efforts, and would go with an alternate choice, Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY.  Hofstra hosted a debate in 2012 and was selected as an alternate site last September.