‘Challenging situation’: Senate Majority Leader throws cold water on Jacksonville RNC
What's another triillion between friends? Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is about to submit a coronavirus trlief bill that tops $1 trillion. Image via AP.

Mitch McConnell
McConnell is the latest Senator to try to find an exit clause from the Jacksonville event.

Add Sen. Mitch McConnell‘s name to the growing list of Republican United States Senators looking to pass on Jacksonville’s re-homed Republican National Convention.

In comments Thursday to reporter Chris Mayhew, McConnell did not definitively say he wouldn’t attend, but came close enough.

“Well, I think the convention is a challenging situation. And a number of my colleagues have announced that they’re not going to attend, and we’ll have to wait and see how things look in late August and determine whether or not you can safely convene that many people,” the Senate Majority Leader said in his home state of Kentucky.

McConnell is the latest Senator to try to find an exit clause from the Jacksonville event.

Sens. Pat Roberts of Kansas, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Mitt Romney of Utah have already begged off.

Senators are finding other things to do as coronavirus runs rampant in Jacksonville, with fundraising for the event challenged by both COVID-19 concerns and Gov. Ron DeSantis deciding, reportedly, to sandbag the fundraising push because his former consultant Susie Wiles is involved, per the New York Times.

DeSantis, goes the narrative, is freezing his donors from backing the convention due to Wiles’ involvement, with whom he had a falling out soon after his 2018 campaign. Among the charges: the Governor thinks Wiles is “overrated as an operative.”

There are questions in Jacksonville about who is leaking to national media, with some sources saying the dirt came from someone close to the Mayor himself.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry admitted earlier this week that the convention was having fundraising troubles, but he did not namecheck the Governor or issues with Wiles.

“As it relates to the fundraising,” Curry told reporters Tuesday in Jacksonville, “individuals have said ‘Yes, the fundraising has not been as easy as usual because we don’t have two to three years to raise the money.’”

“And obviously we’re dealing with COVID-19,” the Mayor and co-chair of the host committee added. “But the host committee … [is] successfully raising money at this time.”

Questions exist about whether the convention can even be indoors, with national reports that outdoor venues, including the Jacksonville Jaguars football stadium and the minor league baseball park used by Jacksonville’s AA baseball team, were in play given potential complications with a full-scale indoor event.

While the baseball stadium or the Daily’s Place amphitheater, two potential locations, wouldn’t seat the 15,000 the host committee expects at the event, it might not matter, if the senatorial exodus filters down to the rank and file.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


4 comments

  • Sonja Fitch

    July 10, 2020 at 10:50 am

    Houston prevailed. TGOP cancelled by Judge’s order for health and safety of community! Jacksonville City Council stop the disaster of the RNC cramming into our community! Our children will be trying to transition back into school!!!!! Do not risk their safety for the RNC and that Putin loving scum traitor trump !

  • DisplacedCTYankee

    July 10, 2020 at 10:54 am

    If they hold the convention “outdoors” in an open-air aircraft hangar or stadium, the GOPers won’t have to worry about catching the Rona; they all will die of heat stroke.

  • Andy

    July 10, 2020 at 12:39 pm

    I’m not a republican but love politics and have a much different view of the world than Susie wiles I’m sure.
    However, the govs campaign was in peril until she was hired. His claim she is over rated does not square.

  • Paul

    July 10, 2020 at 1:28 pm

    Wow this is how much the rest of the republican world trust’s mini Trump desantis?

Comments are closed.


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