DNC chair: Qualifications for first debates coming this week
FILE - In this this Nov. 6, 2018, file photo, Tom Perez, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, introduces Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., as he speaks about Democratic wins in the House of Representatives to a crowd of Democratic supporters in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Bill Barrow, The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, February 13, 2019 8:34PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, February 13, 2019 9:25PM EST
WASHINGTON -- Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez says he'll announce details of the first two presidential primary debates by the end of the week.
Perez says he plans to include a grassroots fundraising metric as part of the qualifying threshold.
He wants that to make the debate more inclusive than just using polling.
The first two debates are slated for June and July. They'll be the first two of six debates in 2019, with at least six more to follow in 2020.
Perez reaffirmed Wednesday that he'd "draw lots" to assign candidates to the two stages rather than separate perceived leaders from a second tier as Republicans did in their large primary field during their 2016 nominating fight.
This story has been corrected to show that Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez did not definitively say that debates would have two stages with a total of 16 spots but rather offered that as a speculative example.