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The Republican National Committee (RNC) has unveiled the list of candidates who have officially qualified for the first GOP primary debate of the 2024 presidential campaign cycle, offering insight into the diverse range of contenders seeking the party’s nomination. Notably, a few candidates who had previously asserted their qualification were absent from the list, shedding light on the stringent criteria set by the RNC for participation.

The eight candidates who will be taking the debate stage in Milwaukee are:

– Governor Doug Burgum (ND)
– Governor Chris Christie
– Governor Ron DeSantis (FL)
– Ambassador Nikki Haley
– Governor Asa Hutchinson
– Vice President Mike Pence
– Vivek Ramaswamy
– Senator Tim Scott (SC)

Despite recent claims by candidates like Larry Elder and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez that they met the RNC’s criteria, the RNC’s official announcement clarifies that they did not meet the necessary thresholds to participate in the debate. This underscores the rigorous standards set by the RNC to ensure a competitive and well-qualified field.

RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel expressed excitement about showcasing the diversity within the Republican candidate field and their conservative vision to challenge Joe Biden in the upcoming debate. She acknowledged the efforts of the RNC’s debate committee and partners, including Fox News, Young America’s Foundation, and Rumble, for their collaborative work in launching the primary process that will culminate in the selection of the party’s nominee to challenge the incumbent president.

Townhall, as always, will provide comprehensive live coverage of the first GOP primary debate, which is scheduled for Wednesday evening at 9:00 p.m. ET. The analysis that follows the debate will serve as a valuable resource for Americans to gauge the performance of the candidates, identify standout moments, and assess the overall landscape of the race as the contenders gear up for the subsequent debate in September.