North Dakota Gov Doug Burgum says he’ll attend GOP debate despite basketball injury

Candidates scheduled to go for walk-through of debate venue Wednesday afternoon

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Wednesday 23 August 2023 20:07 EDT

Related video: What to watch for in the first 2024 GOP presidential debate

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum has said he will attend the first Republican debate suffering an injury playing basketball with staff members.

On Tuesday, Mr Burgum was taken to an emergency room in Milwaukee, Wisconsin – where the debate will take place on Wednesday night – for treatment, according to CNN.

There had been doubts over whether he would attend, alongside seven other candidates. But on Wednesday he said the “high grade tear in my Achilles tendon” wouldn’t put him off.

He said: “The recommendation for that would be, be off your feet for a week or more, but we’re not going to let that get in the way of what we’ve got going on today.”

All of the candidates were scheduled to go for a walk-through of the debate venue on Wednesday afternoon, according to TMJ4.

The debate is set to be an important moment for Mr Burgum if he’s able to take part.

One of his main early campaign goals was to qualify for the debate. His campaign even gave out $20 cash cards for each $1 donation to reach the required number of individual donations in efforts to ensure he reached the necessary target.

The North Dakota governor has said that his main problem right now is his low name recognition among voters, making the debate all the more important.

North Dakota governor and 2024 Republican Presidential hopeful Doug Burgum speaks at the Republican Party of Iowa's 2023 Lincoln Dinner

Mr Burgum is one of eight candidates set to take part, all of whom have met the requirements in terms of polling numbers and fundraising.

In terms of the debate set-up, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy will stand centre stage respectively flanked by former Vice President Mike Pence and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley.

Beyond them will be former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to the left and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott to the right.

The two end spots will be occupied by former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson on the left and – should he attend – Mr Burgum on the right.

Mr Trump will be notably absent from the debate after he chose to take part in a rival – pre-recorded – interview with Tucker Carlson instead.

The debate is set to be broadcast on Fox News at 9pm to 11pm ET on Wednesday night and is expected to draw in millions of viewers.

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