The chair of the Republican Party of Florida says Jacksonville is the frontrunner to steal the GOP Convention from Charlotte.
“While no final decision has been made by the RNC we understand Jacksonville is a front runner. This certainly has been generating a lot of attention and excitement. We continue to believe that Florida would be the best place for the Convention,” said Chairman Joe Gruters.
The buzz is building.
President Donald Trump will be renominated in Jacksonville, Florida if the latest reporting from the Washington Post holds up.
“Seeking a city willing to allow a large-scale event amid the coronavirus pandemic, Republicans have tentatively settled on Jacksonville, Fla., as the new destination for the premier festivities of the Republican National Convention in August, according to three Republican officials briefed on the plans,” the Post reported late Tuesday night.Hotel capacity is an open question, but GOP officials were in town Monday, and downtown hotels are booked for the late-August dates.
Republicans look likely to have “more routine and lower-profile meetings” in Charlotte, which is an attempt to ward off breach of contract lawsuits, per the Post.
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, despite media inquiries Tuesday as he marched in a Black Lives Matter demonstration with Jacksonville Jaguars footballers, did not address convention planning.
“I don’t know what the RNC is going to do,” he told one reporter.
But for Curry and Gov. Ron DeSantis, a convention in the Bold City would be welcomed.
“We welcome the opportunity to host the GOP convention in Jacksonville. A $100 million local impact event would be important for our city as an event/convention destination.The City is ready for world class events & ready show the world we are open for business,” Curry tweeted earlier this month.
“The shape of the epidemic is just simply going to be different, and hopefully it’s a lot better, but I think we’ll be able to make those decisions about what precautions need to be taken as you get closer,” DeSantis said. “But to just rule out a convention at this stage, I think, is a mistake so we’ve said we want to get to ‘yes’ on it and I think we’ll be able to do it.
The decision could be imminent. If it happens, Jacksonville is on the clock, a day after the city passed (again) LGBT rights legislation and tore down a Confederate monument.
The opportunity comes after the President balked at a limited capacity event.
“Governor Cooper is still in Shelter-In-Place Mode, and not allowing us to occupy the arena as originally anticipated and promised. Would have showcased beautiful North Carolina to the World, and brought in hundreds of millions of dollars, and jobs, for the State. Because of [Gov. Cooper], we are now forced to seek another State to host the 2020 Republican National Convention,” Trump tweeted last month.