(NEWSnet/AP) – President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump publicly agreed Wednesday to participate in two election campaign debates — the first on June 27 hosted by CNN and the second on Sept. 10 hosted by ABC.

Both are the leading candidates for their respective political parties, the nominations will become official at the party national conventions.

The quick agreement on the timetable happened Wednesday, shortly after it became public that both candidates wanted a debate series – but neither wanted to work with the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates, its allowances for third-party candidates and the schedule it proposed for election season.

The June 27 debate will be hosted by CNN; the Sept. 10 debate will be hosted by ABC. Both were among the media outlets publicly calling for a debate matchup between the leading candidates, as has been an U.S. election season tradition for decades.

Both dates are ahead of Sept. 16, which is the first day when Pennsylvania voters can complete and return their ballots. Early in-person voting also begins weeks ahead of the Nov. 5 election in some states; with Minnesota, for example, opening its early polling stations on Sept. 20.

CNN will run its event from its studios in Atlanta, live but with no audience present. The moderator is yet to be announced. The network held open the door to third-party participation such as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. if he or any other candidate met polling and ballot access requirements similar to the commission’s.

And ABC News also host its debate at its news studio.

Details that are yet to be determined include moderator selection and debate rules – logistics that the Commission on Presidential Debates had managed for the series since 1987.

The commission’s schedule, announced months ago, called for first debate on Sep. 16 at Texas State University, the second on Oct. 1 at Virginia State University and the third on Oct. 9 at The University of Utah, Salt Lake City. It planned to hold a vice presidential debate on Sept. 25 at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania.

Biden’s campaign has long held a grudge against the nonpartisan commission for failing to evenly apply its rules during the 2020 Biden-Trump matchups — most notably when it didn’t enforce its COVID-19 testing rules on Trump and his entourage.

There was little love lost for the commission as well from Trump, who objected to technical issues at his first debate with Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016 and was upset after a debate with Biden was canceled in 2020 after the Republican came down with COVID-19.

In the meantime, Republican National Committee had already promised not to work with commission on the 2024 contests.

Follow NEWSnet on Facebook and X platform to get our headlines in your social feeds.

Copyright 2024 NEWSnet and The Associated Press. All rights reserved.