You can have your second-stringers, Upstate. Charleston has snagged a high-profile presidential debate weeks ahead of the South Carolina GOP Presidential Primary. Presented by CNN and the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, the debate will be held during the SRLC’s three-day conference beginning on Jan. 19.

“Because of South Carolina’s role as the first-in-the-South, as well as the many southern states that vote on Super Tuesday, this debate provides 2012 GOP hopefuls an occasion to reach their key constituency in South Carolina and throughout the southern region,” said Sam Feist, Washington bureau chief and SVP of CNN. “Not only will the candidates have the chance to address top southern Republicans in person, the primary voters attending the conference also will have an opportunity to directly question their candidates for president.”

More than 2,000 Republicans from 14 southern states are expected to attend the weekend’s events on the peninsula. CNN and Google produced a Democrat presidential debate in Charleston in 2007.

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