Cleveland is finalist for GOP convention

Associated Press Published:

BOSTON -- Cleveland is one of two cities still in the sweepstakes to host the 2016 Republican Party's next presidential convention.

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

The Republican National Convention attracts thousands of political activists, donors and reporters every four years. RNC leaders are expected to select the winning convention site later this summer.

Money is a key concern for party leaders charged with selecting the site. RNC officials who were forced to divert limited 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.

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.

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.

Officials are also 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.

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: New York City; Philadelphia; Cleveland; Columbus, Ohio; Phoenix, and Birmingham, Alabama.

Representatives of all six cities met with the DNC's technical advisers this week and each cleared that hurdle. Now, 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 Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz is expected to announce a host city either late this year or early in 2015.

___

Associated Press writer Philip Elliott contributed to this report.

Want to leave your comments?

Sign in or Register to comment.