First 2024 presidential debate set for mid-September at Texas State University

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden participate in the final presidential debate of 2020 at Belmont University in Nashville on Oct. 22, 2020. Next year's first general election presidential debate will be on Sept. 16, 2024, organizers announced Monday. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

Nov. 20 (UPI) -- The first in a series of three presidential debates next year has been set for mid-September 2024, the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates announced Monday.

The initial debate, scheduled for Sept. 16, 2024, at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, will be followed by debates on Oct. 1, 2024, at Virginia State University in Petersburg, Va., and Oct. 9, 2024, at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, the commission announced.

A vice presidential debate will be held Sept. 25, 2024, at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa.

All debates will start at 9 p.m. ET and will run for 90 minutes without commercial interruption.

The event at Virginia State University will be the first presidential debate ever held at a historically Black college or university, commission officials noted, while University of Utah previously hosted the 2020 vice presidential debate.

"The United States' general election debates, watched live worldwide, are a model for many other countries: the opportunity to hear and see leading candidates address serious issues in a fair and neutral setting," said CPD co-chairs Frank Fahrenkopf and Antonia Hernández.

Next year's initial event on Sept. 16 is the earliest-ever date for a general election presidential debate since the CPD began producing the events in 1976, according to the The American Presidency Project at the University of California-Santa Barbara. The initial debates have typically been held during early October.

Under the new schedule, the debates will also end earlier than previously, meaning there will be a record 27 days between the last debate and Election Day on Nov. 5, 2024.

Whether the Republican presidential candidate will even participate in next year's debates remains in question.

The Republican National Committee voted unanimously in April 2022 not to participate in any future events hosted by the Commission on Presidential Debates after accusing the panel of bias.