Milwaukee to Host First RNC Presidential Primary Debate of 2024 Election

MILWAUKEE — The Republican National Committee (RNC) has announced that the first presidential primary debate of the 2024 campaign will be held in the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The debate, which will be held in August, will coincide with RNC summer meetings and will be the precursor to the 2024 Republican National Convention in the city.

So far, only two candidates have thrown their hats into the 2024 presidential race on the Republican side: former President Donald Trump and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.[0] The RNC debates committee has decided to require all candidates to sign a loyalty pledge, promising to support the eventual nominee, or they will not be allowed to participate in the debates.[1]

The announcement was made by RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel in an email to the party’s members on Thursday.[2] “At this time, no other debates have been sanctioned, nor has the final criteria for the first debate been decided. We have a long way to go, but I am confident we will be able to showcase our eventual nominee in a world class fashion,” McDaniel wrote.[3]

Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson tweeted in response to the announcement, “Today’s announcement is an affirmation Milwaukee is an ideal location to stage a major event. I want our hospitality industry to grow – and for hardworking Milwaukee residents to have even more employment opportunities.”[4]

Wisconsin GOP Chair Brian Schimming also shared his excitement on Twitter, writing, “We’re looking forward to not only hosting the 2024 RNC, where we will show off our exceptional city & the future president of the United States, but excited MKE has been selected to host the first presidential debate!”[0]

Milwaukee was also the host city of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, although it was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[5] On July 30, 2021, the Democratic National Committee sent a letter to the city, expressing that if Milwaukee's government was interested in hosting again, this would be the “very first step”.[6]

The RNC debate in Milwaukee is sure to bring national attention to the city and a potential economic boost. With only two major candidates already announced, the debate will be a chance to get to know the other potential GOP presidential nominees.

0. “Milwaukee to host first Republican presidential debate” Spectrum News 1, 23 Feb. 2023,

1. “First Republican presidential primary debate to be held in August” New York Post , 23 Feb. 2023,

2. “Milwaukee to host first GOP presidential primary debate this summer” WISN Milwaukee, 23 Feb. 2023,

3. “First GOP Presidential Primary Debate To Take Place In Milwaukee” HuffPost, 24 Feb. 2023,

4. “First Republican presidential primary debate to be held in Milwaukee” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 23 Feb. 2023,

5. “Milwaukee selected to host GOP presidential primary debate” WKOW, 23 Feb. 2023,

6. “Republicans holding first presidential debate in Milwaukee” TMJ4 News, 23 Feb. 2023,

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