October 21, 2014

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UPDATED: Cleveland, Dallas finalists to host 2016 Republican National Convention

This Friday, June 14, 2013 file photo shows the street entrance to the convention center in Cleveland.  ASSOCIATED PRESS

This Friday, June 14, 2013 file photo shows the street entrance to the convention center in Cleveland. ASSOCIATED PRESS

BOSTON — Just two cities remain in the sweepstakes to host the Republican Party’s next presidential nominating convention.

Republican National Committee members on Wednesday named two finalists: Cleveland and Dallas. The decision eliminates Denver and Kansas City, Mo., from the running.

Several cities have been competing for months to host the 2016 Republican National Convention, which attracts thousands of political activists, donors and reporters every four years. RNC leaders are expected to select the winning convention site later this summer.

“I can say to my fellow Republicans that we should be excited for the 2016 convention,” said Enid Mickelsen, of Utah, who leads the RNC’s site selection committee. “These world-class cities know how to roll out the welcome mat, and more importantly they have the ability to provide our next presidential nominee a launching pad that will put a Republican in the White House in 2016.”

Money is a key concern for Republican leaders charged with selecting the site. RNC officials who were forced to divert resources toward the last two conventions insist they cannot do so again. Most cities expect a convention price tag of between $55 million and $60 million.

Dallas has long been considered a major player in the competition, in part because of its coalition of wealthy donors with ties to the Bush family and the oil industry.

Political leaders often favor swing states, hoping the multi-day convention gives their candidate a political boost on Election Day. Texas, which last supported a Democrat for president in 1976, would not fit that mold. By contrast, Cleveland sits in perennial swing state Ohio, although the state has fewer major donors than Texas.

Officials also are focused on each city’s transportation and hotel plans following a 2012 Tampa convention in which many participants were forced into hotels an hour from the convention site.

Ohio GOP chairman Matt Borges said he is thrilled, while highlighting the political advantages of hosting the convention in his state.

“The Cleveland host committee clearly demonstrated that Cleveland is the ideal location to host the convention,” he said. “We will continue to work with them to bring the convention to the nation’s most important political battleground.”

Wednesday’s decision disappointed some Democrats, who hoped the RNC would select Kansas City. Organizers there have been seeking assistance from the billionaire conservative donors Charles and David Koch, who are based in nearby Wichita, Kan. Democrats also hoped Republicans would select Las Vegas for its reliance on gambling and conservative mega-donor Sheldon Adelson.

The timing of the next convention is a key element in the RNC’s plans to re-vamp its presidential selection process after losing the last two presidential contests.

Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus wants the convention held in the early summer of 2016, roughly two months sooner than has become the norm. That would give the GOP’s next presidential nominee quicker access to tens of millions of dollars in general election cash.

Democrats, meanwhile, continued on their own timeline for picking a venue.

On Wednesday, the Democratic National Committee said officials would visit all six remaining potential hosts: Cleveland; Columbus; New York City; Philadelphia; Phoenix and Birmingham, Ala.

Representatives of all six cities met with the DNC’s technical advisers this week and each cleared that hurdle. DNC representatives will visit each city between now and early September to get an in-person sense of how the city might handle the crush of party dignitaries and activists.

DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is expected to announce a host city either late this year or early in 2015.


  • Sis Delish

    Dallas may have the oil now, but Cleveland created the Oil Industry back when the “other” Johnny ruled the town.

  • stop ur whining part deux

    Regardless your political affiliation this would be great for Cleveland. Unfortunately the ONLY time Ohio matters in politics is when it is mentioned as crucial to winning the White House. Other than that Ohio is treated as if it were useless.

    Dallas on the other hand is the crown jewel of Texas which happens to be a big money red state.

    Sorry Cleveland, unfortunetly money talks and there is more red money in Dallas than Cleveland.

  • John Davidson

    Looks like the convention will be in Dallas. Sorry Cleveland.

  • Chan

    Cleveland will win for the simple fact that Texas is already Republican territory. They need Ohio to win!

  • oldruss

    Good for Cleveland, and good for northeast Ohio. However, IF Cleveland wins, it has a whole lot to do before entertaining the conventioneers. Public Square is awash with the unwashed. Homicides seem to run two or three a week. And as anyone who has driven from downtown to University Circle knows, that is an adventure where you keep your car doors locked, windows rolled up, and you don’t stop for any stinking red lights. Any delegates venturing out on their own in their rental car better pray that they don’t get lost coming back into town from the Art Museum.

    • Tommy Peel

      Don’t know what route you take to get to University Circle, but you are exaggerating a whole lot.

      • oldruss

        I take Chester Ave. east. How am I exaggerating, exactly? My point isn’t to demonize Cleveland, but to point out that Cleveland has some serious problems, which, if not dealt with before 2016, could prove to be quite embarrassing for this area, when the glare of the national spotlight falls on them.

        • Pablo Jones

          Almost every where either of the parties goes there will be bad areas near by. Even in Denver there are bad areas. How the spotlight falls on Cleveland will be however the news media wants to portray the city. I doubt the local news will spent much time on highlighting the bad areas. But the national media might. It all depends on how the want to cover the event and I think they would throw the city under the bus at the drop of a hat.

      • oldruss

        Tommy Peel, you made an accusation 2 days ago that I exaggerated Cleveland’s problems. I specifically asked you how I had exaggerated, and you have blithely ignored my question.

    • Pablo Jones

      It would be interesting how the Democrats in the city would respond with those issues if the GOP selects Cleveland.

      Would they move the homeless out (bus tickets to another city) to make city seem better? Will they try and fix up as much of the city as possible? Will they run the street sweepers on over time to clean up all the trash? Is 2 years too soon for the revamping of the flats?

      Or will they leave everything as is to try and show the contrasts between the GOP spending while the homeless are right outside in a dirty city. But if they go this route they will also be pointing out that the city is like this even though the Democrats have controlled the city for decades.

      • golfingirl

        None of the above….they will simply blame Cleveland’s blighted condition on Bush.

  • SniperFire

    Would be an interesting juxtaposition between the forthright, successful and self-reliant Americans who keep the Nation together – versus the disaster of Leftist dependency politics and the unworkable sheetholes they leave in their wake of failure anywhere they practice it.

    ….or something like that.