Jacksonville, Fla., is increasingly being cited as the front-runner to replace Charlotte, N.C., to host President Donald Trump’s Republican National Convention acceptance speech in August.
Trump is expected to announce today where the relocated Republican National Convention will be held.
Last week, Trump said Democratic North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper left him no other choice but to find a new location for the Aug. 24-27 convention because the state could not confirm that it could hold a a full capacity event even though the coronavirus numbers in the state are miniscule.
He tweeted, “Because of [Gov. Cooper], we are now forced to seek another State to host the 2020 Republican National Convention.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and local leaders in Jacksonville, Miami, and Orlando all expressed their desire to host the event, which could draw up to 50,000 people and generate $100 million in economic activity.
The Washington Post reported Tuesday that RNC officials were in Jacksonville on Monday looking at facilities like the 15,000-capacity VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.
RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said Wednesday that Jacksonville is “absolutely in the front-running position” to host the GOP convention.
Because of “contractual agreements,” the RNC will still hold some parts of the convention in Charlotte, but Trump’s acceptance speech, will happen elsewhere.
“We are going to keep our convention of, the business of the convention, in Charlotte. That is for sure. It’s going to be smaller and scaled down” McDaniel said on The Hugh Hewitt Show. “And then we are looking for a different city for a celebration. There’s a couple more things we need to do before we can announce that, but Jacksonville is absolutely in the front-running position.”
Republican Party of Florida Chairman Sen. Joe Gruters tweeted Wednesday that Jacksonville was the top choice to replace Charlotte. He said: “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.”
Gruters tweeted, “Florida is open for business and ready to roll out the red carpet. If selected, our goal would be to host a safe, secure & successful event. Florida has a lot to offer & also happens to be the home of @realDonaldTrump and America’s best Governor, @GovRonDeSantis.”