Big preparations underway for CNN's GOP debate in North Charleston

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - All eyes will be on the Lowcountry for the next GOP debate Thursday night with crews from CNN working around the clock preparing for the big event.

Getting ready for a big nationally televised debate takes literally months as CNN crews have been preparing and organizing this debate since May of last year.

The CNN crew arrived in North Charleston last Saturday to start setting up equipment and lights both inside and outside of the North Charleston coliseum all in preparation for Thursday's GOP debate.

The Southern Republican Leadership Conference partnered with CNN to host the debate.

Next was the task of finding a suitable location, but every debate is different and challenging for the crew who try to make sure everything goes off without a hitch.

"Every location is different. You have different local crews, you have different local vendors," CNN executive producer Kate Lunger said."Even if the lead people are the same and they know what we need, at every location we have to talk to people about different parameters. So, it's really different everywhere you go."

There is expected to be more than 2,000 guests at the debate on Thursday, consisting of Southern Republican Leadership Conference guests, CNN guests and VIP's.

CNN will air the debate live from the North Charleston coliseum on Thursday at 8 p.m. It will be hosted by John King.

South Carolina's primary is this Saturday. GOP candidates will be back in town on Thursday.

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