Ohioans react to possibility of nabbing RNC convention

Cleveland -- After Cleveland was named one of four cities in the running to host the 2016 Republican National Convention, Clevelanders and other Ohioans are expressing generally positive reactions.

"It doesn't matter which side of the fence you're on… if you're a Clevelander or someone that cares about the county in general or the city in general… I think it would be a good idea," Doug Flinner tells Channel 3's Hilary Golston.

Cleveland is competing with Dallas, Denver and Kansas City to host the RNC in 2016. The news came just after 3:30 p.m. Thursday indicating the Republican National Committee would put Cleveland in the final running.

Cincinnati and Las Vegas bowed out of the race when their cities' officials learned they would not be finalists.

Clevelander Stephanie O'Conner travels around the country for medical conventions and feels good about the idea of becoming the GOP's convention site. "I think that would be great even though we're a predominantly democratic city. We'd still welcome the Republicans, O'Conner reports." "I'd like to hear what they have to say."

Many think the convention could go a long way to revamping Cleveland's image to the world. "People think that there's nothing to do here," Dana Baker says. "They think that we're the mistake by the lake and we're definitely not."

Area residents also say Cleveland should have a leg up over the other proposed cities for a variety of reasons. "Denver has a lot going on with legalization of Marijuana and you know I just feel like this is something positive that Cleveland deserves… just bring it home to my city," Brittany Hannah indicates.

People also think the downtown location of the Q, where the main activities would be held, will make it easier for visitors to stay in one area. "What would set us apart is our central location. When I went to a convention in Dallas, every day I had to travel 45 minutes to and from the convention center," O'Conner says. "Whereas here in downtown Cleveland… everything's all together. People could be in walking distance as long as it's not winter."

Ohio's GOP Chair says the party will do everything it can to convince Washington leadership the buckeye state is the RNC's 2016 destination. "Not only are we the epicenter of the political universe every four years… if our party is looking for a message right now… here's our message," Matt Borges says. "Here's where it is."


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