Eight Republican candidates have met the criteria to take the stage and will participate in the first GOP presidential debate on Wednesday night, the Republican National Committee has announced.
The eight participants are: North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley, former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson, former vice president Mike Pence, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.).
Former president Donald Trump, the party’s current front-runner, has opted to skip the debate and instead participate in a prerecorded interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
The first debate, taking place in Milwaukee, will air on Fox News’s platforms at 9 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday.
To qualify to step onto the debate stage, the RNC required candidates to meet fundraising and polling criteria, and to pledge to support the eventual nominee of the party. The committee set a deadline of 9 p.m. Monday for candidates to accumulate at least 40,000 donors and hit 1 percent in a certain number of qualifying national and state polls.
Candidates who will not be on the debate stage include Miami Mayor Francisco X. Suarez, former Texas congressman Will Hurd, media personality Larry Elder and businessman Larry Johnson. Some had publicly claimed to meet the RNC’s criteria.