Trump absent but still dominates as GOP presidential rivals clash at first debate

Mike Pence has feisty, but uneven, performance

By: , and - August 23, 2023 11:33 pm

Republican presidential candidates (L-R), former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Vivek Ramaswamy participate in the first debate of the GOP primary season hosted by FOX News at the Fiserv Forum on August 23, 2023 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Eight presidential hopefuls squared off in the first Republican debate as former U.S. President Donald Trump, currently facing indictments in four locations, declined to participate in the event. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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Jacob Fischler
Jacob Fischler

Jacob covers federal policy and helps direct national coverage as deputy Washington bureau chief for States Newsroom. Based in Oregon, he focuses on Western issues. His coverage areas include climate, energy development, public lands and infrastructure.

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Jennifer Shutt
Jennifer Shutt

Jennifer covers the nation’s capital as a senior reporter for States Newsroom. Her coverage areas include congressional policy, politics and legal challenges with a focus on health care, unemployment, housing and aid to families.

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Samantha Dietel
Samantha Dietel

Samantha Dietel is a reporter intern in Washington, D.C. She is pursuing a degree in journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She has previously covered the Missouri legislature in Jefferson City as a reporter for the Columbia Missourian.

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