Political News

Las Vegas, Charlotte leading contenders for Republican convention

Las Vegas and Charlotte are the two frontrunners to host the Republican National Convention in 2020, multiple Republican sources tell CNN.

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Dan Merica
Rebecca Berg (CNN)
(CNN) — Las Vegas and Charlotte are the two frontrunners to host the Republican National Convention in 2020, multiple Republican sources tell CNN.

The Republican National Committee, led by Massachusetts RNC Committeeman Ron Kaufman, began looking for cities to host their 2020 convention in December and had seven cities respond to the request for a proposal. Cities looking to boost their profile and economy regularly bid to host conventions, but hosting also comes with considerable headaches and logistical nightmares.

"We have narrowed it down and it is a narrowing list," Kaufman told CNN on Tuesday. "And of all the cities we have visited, the cities that seem to have the most to offer are Las Vegas and Charlotte."

Asked why they are frontrunners for the convention that will likely nominate President Donald Trump for a second term, Kaufman said, "They are great cities."

The fact that Las Vegas and Charlotte are the RNC's frontrunners was first reported by BuzzFeed.

Neither Las Vegas nor Charlotte has ever hosted a Republican convention, but the North Carolina city did host the 2012 Democratic National Convention in which then-President Barack Obama was nominated for a second term.

The Democratic National Committee is eyeing eight cities for its 2020 Democratic National Convention, a party official told CNN earlier this year, including Atlanta; Birmingham, Alabama; Denver; Houston; Miami Beach; Milwaukee; New York; and San Francisco.

The site of the convention often serves as either a symbolic representation of where the party hopes to perform well in the presidential race or an area that represents certain values the party is looking to project.

Both Nevada and North Carolina are expected to be battleground states in 2020.

Kaufman said Republicans hope to announce their pick next month.

"We don't have a deadline, we have a timeline," he said. "We would like to make a decision by the July RNC meeting."

Nevada GOP Chairman Michael McDonald told CNN earlier this year that they were hopeful they would land the convention.

"We feel confident about it," McDonald said, adding that Las Vegas would "promote a different type of image of Republicans" that is in line with the President's image.

"The President loves Nevada, and he loves Las Vegas," McDonald adding, noting the President's eponymous hotel near the Las Vegas Strip.

So far, the selection process for both parties has been kept fairly under wraps, which is a break from the way the committees have selected their host cities in the past.

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