[CUA Office of Public Affairs]           

                                                                        Dec. 12, 2003


Republican and Democratic Party Chairs

to Face Off in Their First Debate

McAuliffe and Gillespie Will Return to Alma Mater; Stephanopoulos to Moderate


The Very Rev. David M. O’Connell, C.M., president of The Catholic University of America, announced today that two CUA alumni, Edward Gillespie, chairman of the Republican National Committee, and Terry McAuliffe, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, will engage in a debate hosted by the university on March 18, 2004, at 8 p.m., in the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center.


It will be the first time the two leaders of their respective parties have met for a debate. George Stephanopoulos, anchor of ABC’s Sunday morning program “This Week,” will moderate the event.


“We’re delighted Mr. McAuliffe and Mr. Gillespie will return to their alma mater to debate issues of national importance as the 2004 presidential race intensifies and as voters begin to focus more attention on the upcoming election,” Father O’Connell said. “It promises to be a great learning experience for our students and a thrill for our alumni, especially those who were classmates of these leaders.”


Gillespie graduated from Catholic University in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in politics. He was elected chair of the Republic National Committee in July of this year. His service to the Republican Party includes managing the 2000 Republican convention program in Philadelphia, acting as a spokesman during the Florida recount and serving as communications director for President George W. Bush’s inauguration in January 2001.


McAuliffe, who earned a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1979, was elected chair of the Democratic National Committee in February 2001. He has led the committee out of debt for the first time in its history. He has focused heavily on creating a new information infrastructure and combining new technology with strategies for delivering messages, mobilizing voters and raising money.


MEDIA: Coverage of this event is invited but media MUST contact the CUA Office of Public Affairs to register at 202-319-5600.




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Revised: 11/14/2003

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The Catholic University of America,
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