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Did girls' petition help Candy Crowley land gig as a debate moderator?

CNN's Candy Crowley was named Monday as a presidential debate moderator, the first woman in that role in 20 years. Three students who campaigned for a woman were 'exuberant, thrilled, excited.'

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The last time a woman moderated a presidential debate, an Arkansas governor named Clinton was in the running, the US Olympic men’s basketball team featured Michael, Magic, and Bird, the British royals Charles and Diana were splittsville, and Nirvana turned rock-n’-roll grungy.

And Elena Tsemberis, Emma Axelrod, and Sammi Siegel hadn’t even been born yet.

It’s taken 20 years, but thanks in some part to the efforts of the three high school students from Montclair, N.J., a woman will once again host a presidential debate.

The nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that organizes the events, the Commission on Presidential Debates, announced Monday that CNN’s Candy Crowley will anchor one of the three nationally-televised presidential debates, scheduled for Oct. 16.

Based on a comment made by a teacher in their sophomore year, civics class, the three 16-year-olds organized two online petitions through the website Change.org earlier this year. The petitions ultimately drew more than 180,000 signatures.

Ms. Tsemberis says the three friends are “exuberant, thrilled, excited” that their petition, named “It’s Time For a Woman Moderator,” had garnered so much publicity.

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