WASHINGTON - The first scheduled debate of the 2012 Republican presidential nominating race has been postponed from May to September because of a lack of candidates.
The May 2 debate at the Ronald Reagan presidential library will be moved to Sept. 14 to allow time for Republicans to enter the race for the right to challenge President Barack Obama in 2012.
The Republican campaign has been slow to begin, with a large field of potential candidates gauging their prospects but few jumping in. Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty last week became the first major contender to take a formal step toward running when he formed a committee to explore a bid.
"Although there will be a long and impressive list of Republican candidates who eventually take the field, too few have made the commitment thus far for a debate to be worthwhile in early May," said John Heubusch, director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation in Simi Valley, California.
Another Republican debate, scheduled for May 5 in South Carolina, is still on. The debates will be televised.
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