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Romney adviser says he'd 'love to see' the 2016 RNC in Charlotte

City native says it makes sense for the parties to hold conventions in swing states

CHARLOTTE, N.C. Senior Republican strategist Charlie Black said Wednesday he would “love to see” his party choose Charlotte for its 2016 national convention.

“I would love to see them do it,” Black told the Observer. “I was actually very proud that the Democrats chose Charlotte. And the more cities that go after it the better competition you have.”

Black’s comments came less than a week after the end of the Democratic convention, which brought 35,000 people to Charlotte and won generally good reviews for the city.

Parties aren’t expected to choose their 2016 convention cities until at least 2014.

Black, a Washington lobbyist and consultant, is a Charlotte native who grew up in Wilmington. He’s been an adviser to Republican presidents since Ronald Reagan and currently serves as one to presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

He said it makes sense to hold a convention as Democrats did, in a state almost sure to remain a presidential battleground.

“In most cases the site of the convention doesn’t influence voters very much, but it can’t hurt,” he said. “You’d rather put it in a swing state than a Wyoming or a Rhode Island, states always locked up for one party or another.”

Since the DNC, there has been some talk about pursuing the RNC. It’s not the first time.

In mid-1997 a group called Carolinas 2000 sought to interest both parties in choosing the city. Charlotte failed to make the cut with Democrats after it became one of 27 cities asked to submit bids. It did make the short list of nine cities in the running for the GOP convention, and even drew a visit from the Republicans’ site selection committee before it lost out to Philadelphia.

After renewed efforts in 2009, particularly by former City Council member Susan Burgess, Democrats awarded Charlotte their 2012 convention.

“There are few cities that can say they’ve hosted a convention. There are fewer that can say they’ve hosted both,” said Charlotte Republican Warren Cooksey, a City Council member. “We’ve pulled off the DNC quite well, and I think we could do at least as well or better for the RNC.”

Morrill: 704-358-5059
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