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Debate moderators announced: Crowley is first woman presidential debate moderator in 20 years

The 2012 presidential debates will feature a female moderator for the first time in 20 years.

Candy Crowley, center, moderates a Virginia Senate debate on July 21. (Steve Helber — Associated Press)

Crowley is the first female moderator for a presidential debate since ABC’s Carole Simpson, who was the last female to land the gig in 1992.

PBS’s Gwen Ifill moderated vice presidential debates in 2004 and 2008, but there was a significant push from some women’s groups for a woman to moderate one of the three main-event debates.

Lehrer is a mainstay when it comes to presidential debates, with the Oct. 3 debate in Denver being his 12th.

Here’s the full rundown of the four debates (the formats, dates and venues were announced two weeks ago):

Presidential debate No. 1 (domestic policy):

Jim Lehrer, Executive Editor of the PBS NewsHour

Wednesday, Oct. 3, University of Denver, Denver, Colo.

Vice presidential debate:

Martha Raddatz, Senior Foreign Affairs Correspondent, ABC News

Thursday, Oct. 11, Centre College, Danville, Ky.

Presidential debate No. 2 (town-meeting style):

Candy Crowley, Chief Political Correspondent, CNN and Anchor, CNN’s State of the Union

Tuesday, Oct. 16, Hofstra University, Hempstead, N.Y.

Presidential debate No. 3 (foreign policy):

Bob Schieffer, Chief Washington Correspondent, CBS News and Moderator, Face the Nation

Monday, Oct. 22, Lynn University, Boca Raton, Fla.

For more on the moderators, check out their official bios:

Jim Lehrer

Martha Raddatz

Candy Crowley

Bob Schieffer

This post initially said incorrectly that Carole Simpson was the first female moderator of a presidential debate.

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