Politics

Republicans Announce Charlotte as 2020 Convention Site

Democrats visited the North Carolina city in 2012

The Foo Fighters performed at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, which was also in Charlotte. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Republican National Committee formally announced Friday that its 2020 convention will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“Charlotte has so much to offer, and we are excited to bring delegates to a city that has demonstrated its southern hospitality, showcased its vibrant energy, and proven that possibilities are endless. I am confident the Queen City will be the ideal backdrop as the Republican Party continues its work to Make America Great Again,“ site selection Chairman Ron Kaufman said in a statement.

The Republican National Committee said that the vote of members was unanimous.

The city played host to the Democrats in 2012, and organizers faced a number of logistical challenges during the convention, including crowd control issues at Time Warner Cable Arena (now known as Spectrum Arena).

There were also infrastructure challenges including the number of available hotel rooms, but the Queen City has only expanded since then. And Regional Visitors Authority CEO Tom Murray said his organization would be up for the challenge.

“We are incredibly proud to have helped shepherd this opportunity on behalf of our great city. Charlotte has the collaboration, infrastructure and hospitality that will make the 2020 RNC an unforgettable experience for its attendees,“ Murray said in a statement. “We recognize and are prepared for the tremendous responsibility of welcoming 35,000 visitors to our community for this event and can’t wait to get started.”

Charlotte’s Democratic mayor said that decision to push for the chance to welcome tens of thousands of Republicans for what’s almost certain to be a celebration of President Donald Trump wasn’t exactly easy.

In fact, Vi Lyles called it arguably, “the most difficult decision of my career.”

The site selection could also be an effort to help energize Republican voters and Trump supporters in North Carolina.

The state has been exceptionally purple in recent years. President Donald Trump carried North Carolina in 2016, and Republican Sen. Richard M. Burr won re-election in a hotly-contested race.

But voters also elected a Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, ousting the then-incumbent Republican. The seats held by Cooper and Republican Sen. Thom Tillis will be on the ballot in 2020.

But hosting the convention is not necessarily any guarantee of success. Just ask President Barack Obama. He narrowly won the state in 2008 before losing it to Mitt Romney in 2012, the year the DNC was in Charlotte.

The dates for the 2020 RNC have not yet been announced.

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