Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati are among the eight cities bidding

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CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland convention team is expecting to hear from Republicans soon whether Cleveland will be one of the cities advancing to the next round. That will mean hosting a visit from Republicans in April.

"We expect to learn if we are one of the final cities by the end of next week," lawyer Jon Pinney said.

Dallas, Las Vegas and Cincinnati made convention pitches to Republicans in Washington Friday.

They missed the original presentation date because of a snowstorm.

Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati are among the eight cities bidding.

The buzz about Cleveland's bid has been favorable.

"We hear good things so far. Our bid's been well received," Pinney said.

Republicans asked for information after the initial presentation.

The funding package is a key component.

Cleveland's bid added millions more after the original pitch. It's believed to be at or near the top in the money department.

"We don't know for sure (if it's the leading package). We've put a significant package together already, and we continue to make great progress in that regard," Pinney said.

Ohio officeholders in both parties are enthusiastic about an Ohio/Cleveland convention.

Republican Sen. Rob Portman said, "Cleveland's more Democratic, but it's got a lot of Republicans. There are more Republicans in Cuyahoga County than any county in Ohio. ... For Republicans to do well nationally, they've got to do well in counties like Cuyahoga."

Democratic Congresswoman Marcia Fudge is glad to invite Republicans.

"I'd love to have them come. I want them to see a real city with real people and real poverty. I hope they come," she said.

Cleveland's new branding campaign may also be coming at just the right time to help attract this big prize.

Cleveland is also prepared to pursue the Democratic convention.

Democrats have yet to put out their request for bids.

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