Cleveland: Jackson, FitzGerald announce convention push

CLEVELAND -- Mayor Frank Jackson and Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald are both Democrats but they are jointly making the official announcement that Cleveland is bidding for the Republican National Convention.

And if that doesn't pan out, they'll be in the hunt for the Democratic convention.

Mayor Jackson said, "Ohio, Cleveland in particular, is a significant force in national politics. Add to this strong political heritage, our outstanding amenities, new convention and hotel facilities and our ideal location, and it is clear Cleveland has what it takes."

FitzGerald said, "Hosting a national political convention would help create jobs in Cuyahoga County, strengthen our tourism industry and contribute as much as $200 million to our local economy."

On Monday, Jackson will ask Cleveland City Council to approve a resolution and Public Safety and Public Works services that might be needed to support the bid or bids.

Council President Kevin Kelley said, "Cleveland City Council supports bringing a national Presidential convention to our revitalized downtown....add in the friendliness of our residents (and that ) makes Cleveland the perfect host for a 2016 convention."

On Tuesday, FitzGerald will ask Cuyahoga County Council to authorize $2.5 million to back the city's efforts. The county would also pledge law enforcement help.

A bid for the Republican Convention is due Feb. 26.

Both parties invited Cleveland so submit a proposal. Columbus and Cincinnati are also in the hunt for Republican Party party.

A coalition of non-profits and community leaders are working together to establish the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee, Inc. The group will put together the bid packages.


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