ABC News Announced Linsey Davis as a Moderator for Third Democratic Primary Debate; Groups Praise the Inclusion of Women of Color

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, August 22, 2019

CONTACT: Brett Abrams |

ABC News Announced Linsey Davis as a Moderator for Third Democratic Primary Debate; Groups Praise the Inclusion of Women of Color

Coalition of Women’s Groups Urged ABC News to Strive for Better Representation in Debate Moderators; Davis is the First Woman of Color to Moderator in a 2020 Presidential Primary Debates

WASHINGTON, DC — Last night, ABC News announced the moderators for the third Democratic presidential primary debate to be held in Houston on September 12th and 13th. The four moderators include Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos, “World News Tonight” Anchor David Muir, ABC News Correspondent Linsey Davis and Univision Anchor Jorge Ramos.

The announcement comes after a coalition of women’s advocacy organizations – Higher Heights, the National Women’s Law Center, UltraViolet Action and United States of Women – came together after the second presidential primary debate in a campaign demanding that future debates include a woman of color as the moderator.

Shaunna Thomas, co-founder and executive director of UltraViolet Action:

“Today’s voters are more diverse than ever before, and this year’s primaries feature the most diverse group of candidates in modern history. That’s why, ABC News’ decision to include Linsey Davis, a woman of color is a huge win for representation at the debates and a welcome change from the status quo that sidelined women of color.

“Moderators hold a lot of power over how the debates unfold. They determine what questions are asked, which issues are centered, and which candidates get the most air time. Moderators are supposed to represent voters’ greatest interests and concerns, and with Davis on stage, it is more likely that these debates will be inclusive, relevant and representative of the American people.

“We urge other networks to follow ABC News’ lead and make sure that all debates and town hall events have women, people of color, and women of color serving as moderators.”

Glynda C. Carr, President of Higher Heights for America:

“Moderators have enormous power to shape debates, so it’s necessary that they reflect the electorate and voters’ interests in the process. Black women have consistently been a key voting bloc for the Democratic Party, and 2020 will be no different. The lack of a Black woman in the moderators chair during the first two Democratic debates was a glaring exclusion, especially given that the current field of candidates is one of the most diverse in our country’s history, including the third Black woman to seek the Democratic nomination. Black women want to have the issues important to them recognized by the candidates, and that begins with having moderators at the table who will ensure that Black women’s voices and votes are represented.

“ABC News has made the right decision for voters by selecting Linsey Davis as one of their four moderators for the next debate. The decision demonstrates a commitment to ensuring broad representation of voters’ concerns and increasing the diversity of debate moderators this cycle, and it is something we hope to see more of in the upcoming debates.”

Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center:

“We know the importance of representation and inclusion in spaces like these debates, so we are very pleased that ABC has heard our call and diversified the moderators’ table.”

“It is essential they are all given equitable speaking time, and that conversations about critical issues like equal pay, child care, sexual harassment, and abortion are given the airtime they deserve.”

Earlier this Summer, UltraViolet Action, led a coalition of organizations in an effort to convince media outlets like NBC to ensure that at least 50% of debate and town hall moderators were women and people of color. In May, shortly after informing the DNC about UltraViolet Action’s #AskForWomen Pledge, which had secured the support of a number of prominent 2020 Democratic Presidential candidates, the Democratic National Committee announced that it will require female moderators at every 2020 presidential debate.

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