Positively Cleveland's David Gilbert and Host Committee Lawyer Jon Pinney were answering calls Tuesday morning in Latitude 41

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CLEVELAND -- Republicans were still fact-finding and asking Cleveland's convention team for details right down to the party's Site Selection Committee vote on Tuesday.

Positively Cleveland's David Gilbert and Host Committee Lawyer Jon Pinney were answering calls Tuesday morning in Latitude 41, a West Side eatery close to Gordon Square.

"I would say, right up until they met (to vote)," Gilbert said.

That seemed a good sign.

"They wouldn't still be asking questions if we were out of it," he said.

And there was no hint of how the vote would go.

"There was no wink, wink, nod, nod," Gilbert explained.

Mayor Frank Jackson said there was no single breakthrough issue, just eight months of focused, hard work to present Cleveland's case.

Still, he said, "Until we got the call, we didn't know."

The city's selection is already having a media payoff. There's a host of stories with positive headlines in high-profile newspapers.

True, most of the stories mention the infamous issues of the rust-belt past and burning river and, more recently, three women's captivity by Ariel Castro.

But Gilbert said, "The nice thing is they are talking about it as ancient history."

Gilbert said at least one meeting planner has called and asked Cleveland to submit a hurry-up bid to host an upcoming convention, saying, "Our executive director said, if the RNC chose Cleveland, I want Cleveland to be considered for our meeting. That's awesome."

Media and civic reaction to the selection is overwhelmingly positive.

Mayor Jackson claims that's what he's hearing from citizens too.

"In general, people are happy about it. I have yet to hear someone unhappy. They are asking questions. What does it mean? What does it cost? Can we get economic benefits? Most people are enthusiastic," he said.

Valarie McCall, the city's representative on the host committee and Government Affairs Director, said ,"This is our time to show the world just what we're made of. ...It's our championship."

On Thursday, lawyers and negotiators for Republicans are due to be in Cleveland to begin negotiating the formal contracts needed to finalize the deal.

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