Washington | 3 Ohio cities pursuing GOP convention

WASHINGTON -- Three Ohio cities are among the eight expressing interest in hosting the 2016 Republican National Convention.

Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati all sent teams to learn more from the RNC site selection committee on what they are expected to bring to the table in terms of hotel room and facilities capable of holding major events.

Cuyahoga County Republican Rob Frost and Valarie McCall, Cleveland's Chief of Governmental affairs, were among those representing Cleveland.

Former State Party Chairman Bob Bennett took part by phone.

Columbus has already made a showy pitch to the RNC. Cleveland's approach has been low profile.

Mayor Frank Jackson declines interviews on the subject so far.

But McCall has told Channel 3 that a lack of public presence should not be mistaken for a lack of effort.

Cincinnati also sent a delegation as the last of the cities to get involved.

Final proposals are due by Feb. 26.

Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges said, "There is certainly an excellent opportunity for Cleveland that was a finalist in 2008."

The site selection committee is expected to attend finalist cities sometime in April..

Other cities expressing interest include Kansas City, Denver, Phoenix, Dallas and Las Vegas.

Some political observers think Ohio's key role in elections heightens the chances of landing a convention here.

Borges said, "Ohio is the epicenter of the political universe...Ohio sells itself. The importance of a convention in Ohio is not lost on anyone."

No Republican has ever won the White House without carrying the Buckeye state.

Cleveland will add 6 new hotels with more than 1700 additional rooms by 2016.

The Q would host the main convention. The new Convention Center could play a role too.

Some observers believe the loss of the United hub could work against Cleveland's bid.

The host city will be expected to raise 20 to 25 million dollars to help absorb convention-related costs.

Cleveland is prepared to bid for the Democratic convention if it winds up an also-ran for the RNC.


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