GOP Officials Eye Jacksonville, Florida, to Host Republican National Convention

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar
AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

The GOP remains on the hunt for a new city to host August’s Republican National Convention, and Jacksonville, Florida, and Savannah, Georgia, appear to be under serious consideration.

Several cities — including Orlando, Las Vegas, Dallas, and Nashville — have reportedly been under consideration to host the major GOP event, but speculation is mounting around Jacksonville, Florida.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry (R) has indicated that city officials have been in talks with the RNC, and while there is no official word yet, local outlet First Coast News reports that “the city’s largest and most prestigious downtown hotels are booked solid the week of Aug 25-28 — the same week as the GOP’s presidential nominating event.”

“We welcome the opportunity to host the @GOPconvention in Jacksonville. A $100 million local impact event would be important for our city as an event/convention destination,” Curry said following news of party officials looking for a new city to host the major event.

“The City is ready for world class events &ready show the world we are open for business,” he added:

“I know it’s going to be a heavy lift,” Curry said last week. “There’s no definite answer as to whether it’s coming here or not. But I think that if we land it, people are going to appreciate the jobs and we will do it responsibly.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has also made a big pitch for the convention to come to the Sunshine State, telling Fox & Friends last week that “we want to get to yes on it” coming to Florida, although he has not publicly vouched for a specific city.

The New York Times’ Annie Karni and 

Officials are also considering Savannah, Georgia. Gov. Brian Kemp (R) toured the city with GOP convention CEO Marcia Lee Kelly on Monday and said that they are “honored to offer a truly unmatched experience to the Republican National Convention.”

However, Savannah Mayor Van Johnson (D) has expressed concerned.

“I am strongly concerned about the impact that a convention of this magnitude would have on the health, safety and welfare of our city, her citizens and our budget,” he said in a statement.

“That being said, I am not privy to, or familiar with, any proposal or plans relating to the 2020 Republican National Convention, but I am open and willing to hear what they have to say,” he said.

He reportedly met with Kemp and RNC officials on Monday as well.

“The mayor gets it,” Kemp said, according to WJCL. “All money is green… They all gotta eat, they all gotta stay somewhere. That’s part of it and that’s what we want here in the state of Georgia. We can handle that.”

President Trump this month announced that organizers would look elsewhere after North Carolina officials failed to guarantee that the convention could proceed as planned in Charlotte due to coronavirus-related concerns:

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