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Charlotte to pass on 2016 RNC bid

A month before bids are due, the city of Charlotte announced Friday it will not try to land the 2016 Republican National Convention.

The city was considered a successful host of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, which was estimated to generate an economic impact of roughly $164 million for the region.

But city officials seemed weary from the experience of hosting the DNC, and there was little enthusiasm for trying to land another political convention so soon.

In a news release from the city, Democratic Mayor Patrick Cannon and Republican Gov. Pat McCrory said Charlotte might try for the convention in 2020.

“The human and financial investment needed in a short time cycle can best be used on other travel and tourism initiatives to continue successful efforts to grow jobs and the economy in Charlotte and throughout North Carolina,” McCrory said in a statement.

Charlotte was not on an initial list of 24 cities invited to bid on the convention by the Republican National Committee. But Charlotte and two other cities were added in December.

Responses to the RNC’s 29-page Request for Proposal are due Feb. 26.

The city might have a good chance to land the RNC in 2020. North Carolina was a closely contested state in 2008 and 2012, and it could remain so in the next two presidential elections.

Cannon said in a statement that waiting until 2020 would give the community and the city’s “corporate partners adequate time to prepare.”

Duke Energy was a key partner for the 2012 DNC, giving the local host committee a $10 million line of credit.

But fundraising for the DNC lagged and Duke Energy wasn’t repaid the $10 million. The result was a $6 million loss to shareholders.

Harrison: 704-358-5160
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