Two Bay Area schools vie for 2012 prez debate

Two of the dozen colleges and universities under consideration by the Commission on Presidential Debates to host a 2012 general-election presidential debate are here in the Bay Area.

Saint Mary’s College of California in Moraga and Dominican University of California in San Rafael both filed applications, the commission announced today.

“Saint Mary’s College of California is enthusiastic about the possibility of hosting a 2012 Presidential Debate as a cornerstone event in our Sesquicentennial Celebration,” that college’s Brother President Ronald Gallagher said in a news release.

The school hosted the September 2010 debate between incumbent U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer and Republican senatorial nominee Carly Fiorina. Here’s a video from the college’s application to host a presidential debate:

Dominican hosted the October 2010 debate between Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jerry Brown and Republican gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman.

Other colleges and universities under consideration include Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn.; Centre College in Danville, Ky.; Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Ky.; Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.; Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind.; Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.; The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in Pomona, N.J.; the University of Denver in Denver; Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C.; and Washington University in St. Louis.

UPDATE @ 3:39 P.M.: Dominican University President Joseph Fink said his institution is enthused, too.

“We are particularly excited about the opportunity to involve our students in the democratic process through their first-hand experience of this historic event. Californians are critical to the outcome of the next election. Dominican and our students represent the best that the state has to offer,” he said. “Our students are as diverse, talented, and determined as Californians everywhere, and they are challenging themselves to make a better future for themselves, their families, and their communities. It would be a tremendous responsibility, and one that our institution would wholly embrace, to host a national discourse on the pressing issues that impact our students.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.