Washington (CNN) – The Georgia Republican Party announced it will host a GOP presidential debate with CNN on March 1, less than one week before “Super Tuesday.”
In announcing the debate, Georgia Republican Party Chair Sue Everhart highlighted the key role the delegate-rich Peach State will play in helping the GOP chooses its presidential nominee.
"The road to the White House in 2012 runs straight through Georgia, and I look forward to welcoming the Republican presidential candidates to the Peach State for our Super Tuesday Presidential Debate," Everhart said in a statement.
Georgia is one of 11 states scheduled to hold nominating contests on March 6, a day commonly referred to as “Super Tuesday” because of the large number of delegates up for grabs in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.
Republicans will begin the process of officially choosing their presidential nominee on January 3, when Iowa holds its caucuses. Several primaries will follow in January including those in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida. Seven more caucuses and primaries will be scattered throughout February in the march to Super Tuesday.
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced in late September that Georgia would hold its primary the first Tuesday in March – an announcement closely watched by political observers and the presidential campaigns.
"I am excited that the Georgia Republican Party will be partnering with CNN to host a presidential debate here in Georgia before the March 6 Presidential Preference Primary," Kemp, a Republican, said in a statement.
While Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich claim strong ties to Georgia – the battle for the state’s 76 delegates are very much up for grabs.
CNN is hosting a Republican National Security debate with the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation on Tuesday, November 22. CNN has hosted three other GOP presidential debates since June: the New Hampshire Republican Presidential Debate, the Republican Presidential Tea Party Debate in Florida and the Western Republican Leadership Conference Debate in Nevada.
The location of the "Super Tuesday" debate will be announced at a later date.