What issues might derail Cleveland's convention bid?

CLEVELAND -- Cleveland's convention-seeking team remains cautiously optimistic about the city's chances to make it to the next round of competition for the 2016 Republican convention.

At a ribbon-cutting for a newly-remodeled hotel with the new Westin nameplate, Positively Cleveland's David Gilbert said, "We expect to be one of the three or four cities out of the six. ... We're already planning with the confidence we're going to be in the three or four. We're in this to win it."

Cleveland's team tried to score points at last weekend's Republican quarterly event in Memphis.

The city held a reception to keep its case in front of the party.

There's no doubt Cleveland made a good impression in its presentations to an advance team recently visiting the city.

But the competition is now intense.

Ohio's Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges said, "I don't think there is a frontrunner. We have six cities trying that have a lot to offer. Probably no particular one is the perfect place."

Cleveland's rivals are Las Vegas, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City and Cincinnati.

Each city has strengths and issues.

There's buzz that Cleveland's possible issues might include a deadline and arena commitment..

The new Convention Center Hilton Hotel is on a super-crunched timeline, due to be completed shortly before the 2016 convention.

There are commitments and assurances it will be ready to entertain delegates in ample time. But is that a risk Republicans want to entertain?

And there's another possible conflict shared by Cleveland and other NBA cities, Dallas and Denver.

Arenas are committed to be ready to hold possible playoff games. In the last ten years, the average final date of Game 7's of Championship Series has been June 20.

Republicans want the convention to start between June 27th and July 18th, and Republicans want six weeks in advance to convert arenas to be convention-ready.

Borges believes the political importance of Ohio is a plus for Cleveland and Cincinnati, and he believes one will make the next cut, which means the whole Republican Site Selection Committee will visit.

He offered some thoughts about the seemingly far-fetched possibility of Gov. John Kasich being nominated at a Republican convention in his home state.

Borges called Kasich's record one of creating jobs, balancing budgets and cutting taxes.

"If we want to have a message in 2016 what we need to do to save the country, bring it to Ohio where we've been doing it under John Kasich's leadership," he said.


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