- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 19, 2016

CLEVELAND — Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, announced Tuesday it will not host the first presidential debate scheduled for Sept. 26, saying the cost of additional security would be too much of a hardship on the school.

“This is a very difficult decision,” Wright State President David R. Hopkins said in a statement on the school’s website. “But there has been a growing crescendo of concern about what it would take to guarantee the safety and security of the campus and the community. The expense would be daunting.”

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced that the first debate will now be held at Hofstra University in New York.

“We were fully aware of the challenges and were prepared to meet them when we decided to host the debate, but things have changed,” Mr. Hopkins said. “The current national environment has made security even more critical.”

Wright State estimated that hosting the debate would cost the university between $3 million and $5 million, and as much as $8 million. The school said it cannot restrict public access to its campus, adding to security challenges.

“We have a responsibility to our community both safety-wise and financially to do the right thing,” Mr. Hopkins said.

The second presidential debate is scheduled to take place at Washington University in St. Louis in Missouri on Oct. 9, and the third presidential debate is scheduled to take place at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas on Oct. 19.

The single vice presidential debate is scheduled to take place at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, on Oct. 4.

Wright State’s announcement came on the second day of the Republican National Convention, which is being held in Cleveland.

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