Politics & Government

Charlotte leaders make pitch for the RNC — and say the city has one big strength

Some Democratic City Council members are questioning whether Charlotte should host the 2020 Republican National Convention.
Some Democratic City Council members are questioning whether Charlotte should host the 2020 Republican National Convention. AP

The Republican National Committee's site selection committee is heading home after a three-day visit in Charlotte, where Democrats and Republicans tried to convince the group to bring their 2020 convention to the Queen City.

The three-day meeting wrapped up Friday morning, with a breakfast at the Kimpton Hotel uptown, one of the city's newest hotels. City Council member James Mitchell, a Democrat, urged Republicans to pick Charlotte.

"We came in with an overall approach that our greatest strength is that we did this once before," said Mayor Vi Lyles, a Democrat. "They were looking at major venues. They had a chance to see the speedway, the Spectrum Center, our downtown hotels."

Lyles was part of the team that courted the RNC early during the visit. The city's welcoming committee also included officials from the Charlotte Chamber, the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority and other business officials. The group also held a dinner for visiting Republicans in the Bank of America Corporate Center.

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This is at least the second visit to Charlotte that members of the site selection committee have made.

City officials have also made a pitch to the RNC in Washington, D.C., and statewide Republican officials discussed the bid with the site selection committee during recent RNC meetings in Miami in early May.

It's unclear whether Charlotte has any real competition for the convention, which will likely renominate President Donald Trump.

CNN has reported that the chair of the Nevada Republican party has said Las Vegas is bidding. But that bid appears to not have the coordination of the city's mayor's office and the city's convention and visitors bureau, which said all of its suitable venues are already booked.

No other city has publicly said it's bidding. Officials have said they thought a Texas city would be bidding, but San Antonio's City Council rejected bidding and Dallas has also said it's not bidding.

A decision could come in August or July.

N.C. GOP chair Robin Hayes said the city and the CRVA "put on an all-star presentation highlighting the benefits of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, and surrounding areas in the state of North Carolina."

Steve Harrison: 704-358-5160, @Sharrison_Obs
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