The Latest: NBC announces 1st 2020 Democratic debate lineups

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Democrats’ first 2020 presidential debates later this month (all times local):

12:45 p.m.

NBC has announced how it will divvy up the 20 Democratic candidates for the first debate of the 2020 election campaign, which will be held over two nights in Miami later this month.

The lineup for the first two-hour session on June 26 features Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Beto (BET’-oh) O’Rourke, Amy Klobuchar (KLOH’-buh-shar), Julián Castro, Bill de Blasio (dih BLAH’-zee-oh), John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Tim Ryan and Jay Inslee.

The lineup for the next night features Bernie Sanders, Kamala (KAH’-mah-lah) Harris, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg (BOO’-tuh-juhj), Michael Bennet, Marianne Williamson, Eric Swalwell, Kirsten Gillibrand (KEER’-sten JIHL’-uh-brand), Andrew Yang and John Hickenlooper.

The Democratic National Committee says it divided the candidates at random but ensured that contenders considered front-runners would not be stacked on one night to avoid the impression that one night was more important than the other.

___

12:35 a.m.

The Democratic National Committee has announced that 20 candidates have qualified for the party’s first presidential debates later this month.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts were the only major candidates out of the two dozen Democratic hopefuls who failed to meet the polling or grassroots fundraising measures required to get a debate spot.

Two lesser-known candidates, former Sen. Mike Gravel of Alaska and Miramar, Florida, Mayor Wayne Messam, also missed the cutoff, announced Thursday.

The campaign’s opening debates, set for June 26-27 in Miami, will offer a prime opportunity for many White House hopefuls to reshape a race defined in recent weeks by former Vice President Joe Biden’s domination of national and many early state polls.

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