BlazeTV host Mark Levin has been tapped by the Republican Party of Florida to moderate two debates between candidates for Congress in competitive House district primary elections next month, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Monday.
Speaking at a press conference, DeSantis said that Levin will host two of four upcoming debates at the 2022 Sunshine Summit on July 23, at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla. The debates are being organized for the GOP primaries in Florida's 4th, 7th, 13th, and 15th Congressional Districts. Each of these districts is believed to lean toward the GOP for the upcoming midterm elections.
"There will be four debates. For the first two that we're going to tee up, I have Mark Levin that's going to moderate those," DeSantis said Monday. "Obviously, he's a great guy, very smart."
Levin said he is honored to have been asked to moderate some of the debates.
The governor said the debates will be a good opportunity for "credible" candidates in those primary races to make their case to Republican voters. DeSantis said there will be "very attainable" thresholds for candidates to qualify for the debates.
According to the Florida GOP, a candidate must poll at 5% or greater in a Republican Party of Florida poll of each respective primary race, which will be conducted on July 13, 2022. Alternatively, a candidate must have raised and publicly reported at least $100,000 in campaign contributions by July 13 to qualify.
A total of 21 candidates have qualified for the ballot between the four open congressional districts. The qualification thresholds are meant to limit the number of people on the debate stage and give voters a clearer choice between campaigns that have already demonstrated support through polling or viability with fundraising.
“It just gives an opportunity for the credible candidates,” DeSantis said. “This will be a great option for the candidates to go and talk about their visions and to contrast with their competitors.”
Debate rules will be announced after the qualifying deadline.
These competitive primary elections will be closely watched, as Republicans seek to nominate candidates who can go on to win in November and capture the U.S. House majority from the Democrats. Four U.S. House members from Florida are leaving Congress after this term, and the state is adding a new House seat under the congressional redistricting map drawn by DeSantis.
Florida's primary elections will be held on August 23.