HOUSTON, Texas–Dallas makes the cut to the final two cities being considered to host the 2016 Republican National Convention. The Site Selection Committee for the Republican National Committee (RNC) announced the finalists as Dallas, Texas and Cleveland, Ohio.
The RNC made the announcement today in a press release from Washington, D.C. It comes after an exhaustive search and review of the potential host cities’ bids and presentations. The committee also visited the applicant cities. Other cities that were originally in consideration and eliminated by today’s announcement include Cincinnati, Columbus, Denver, Kansas City, Las Vegas, and Phoenix.
“After extensive review the site selection committee has chosen Cleveland and Dallas as finalists for the 2016 convention,” the committee said in its press release. “Cleveland and Dallas demonstrated their ability to host a phenomenal convention in 2016, and the RNC is excited about the prospect of hosting our convention in either of these great cities. After visiting both cities, I can say to my fellow Republicans that we should be excited for the 2016 convention. These world class cities know how to roll out the welcome mat, and more importantly they have the ability to provide our next presidential nominee a launching pad that will put a Republican in the White House in 2016.”
Dallas was originally considered a long-shot for the selection process having entered the competition late. Breitbart Texas reported in February, the city’s announcement that it intended to seek do be selected as the host city. At that time, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, a Democrat, said in a letter co-signed by former Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, “The city of Dallas is enthusiastically throwing its hat in the ring. We must move quickly. Our bid preparation is underway.”
“We are playing catch-up fast and furiously, putting the bid together,” said Phillip Jones, president and CEO of the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau in February. The catch-up play seems to have worked as Dallas makes the final two cities under consideration.
“The committee extends our sincere thanks and gratitude to Denver and Kansas City for their hard work and dedication to this effort. Both teams should be proud of their work. They were great ambassadors for their cities, and we felt fortunate to visit and get to know them. This was a tough decision for our committee because all four of these cities made excellent bids.
The Dallas Morning News reported on its home city’s qualifications back in February:
Dallas offers a number of political advantages:
The state’s large and growing Hispanic population is a key target for the GOP.
Republicans have held a firm grip on statewide offices for two decades, although the city and county have shifted to Democratic control in recent years.
The area’s GOP donor base is robust.
The last time Dallas hosted an RNC convention was in 1980 when Ronald Reagan won the Republican nomination for president and Texan George H.W. Bush was nominated to run for vice-president.
“As we move closer to choosing a host for our convention, I’m more confident than ever that we’ll have an outstanding partner to showcase our Party and our Republican nominee in 2016.”
Bob Price is a staff writer and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.