COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Ohio's three flagship cities -- Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati -- have been named finalists in the competition to host the 2016 Republican National Convention.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus named all three among the party's eight finalists in a Twitter post Thursday. The others are Denver, Dallas, Kansas City, Las Vegas and Phoenix.
It's the first time in modern memory that all three have bid to host the convention in the same year.
Party and city officials are counting on the state's pivotal role in electing presidents to boost the chances that the party will pick one of their cities for its biggest event. No Republican has ever won the White House without carrying the state, and few Democrats have.
Backers see the convention as a potential boon for tourism.