President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger won't be stopping in Moraga on the 2012 campaign trail.
Saint Mary's College was not chosen as a 2012 debate site, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced Monday.
The small, private liberal arts college in Moraga had applied to host one of four nationally televised debates -- three for presidential candidates and one for vice presidential candidates -- to be held next October.
"We're disappointed, but it was a good process," said Michael Beseda, Saint Mary's vice president for college communications. "We learned a lot about our ability to be a venue for discussion and debate on a national level. We will continue to pursue opportunities to host discussions about important issues."
The college will consider opportunities to host statewide and national debates, Beseda said.
The University of Denver, Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., and Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla., were chosen to host presidential debates. Centre College in Danville, Ky., will hold the vice presidential debate, and Washington University in St. Louis will serve as a backup site.
There was nothing lacking in Saint Mary's application, said Janet Brown, executive director of the Commission on Presidential Debates. But with a dozen applicants and only four debates, some campuses are going to be disappointed, she said.
"It does not say anything about the sites that were not chosen, and
Saint Mary's hosted a debate between U.S. Senate candidates Barbara Boxer and Carly Fiorina in September 2010. Several elected officials and Contra Costa cities, including the town of Moraga, threw their support behind the college's efforts to land a presidential debate.
"I'm disappointed, but I'm very proud of Saint Mary's, the way they presented themselves, because I think it speaks to the kind of first-class institution that Saint Mary's is," said Moraga Mayor Karen Mendonca.
Dominican University in San Rafael had also applied to host a debate but was not selected.
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