A source tells WKYC's Tom Beres that Cleveland will get a visit from the Republican National Convention advance team, the next step in the selection process.

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CLEVELAND -- A source tells WKYC's Tom Beres that Cleveland will get a visit from the Republican National Convention advance team, the next step in the selection process.

The job of picking cities that are the finalists for the 2016 Republican National Convention is turning out to be more complicated than expected.

The Cleveland host committee and those of seven other cities learned today which ones would be designated as finalists that would host a visit from the Site Selection Committee before the winner was named.

Those getting to the next step are Cleveland, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City and Las Vegas. The cities eliminated are Columbus and Phoenix.

The Ohio Republican Party released this statement:

"This afternoon the Republican National Committee announced that two Ohio cities advanced as potential host cities for the 2016 RNC convention. The other cities advancing are Dallas, Denver, Kansas City and Las Vegas. Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland all submitted bids to the RNC at the beginning of the process.

"It speaks volumes about our state that we are home to three world-class cities that were able to submit competitive bids to host the 2016 Republican National Convention," said Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges. "Ohio is now the only state with two cities advancing as potential host cities.

We will do everything we can to support Cincinnati's and Cleveland's bids for the convention. The road to the White House runs through Ohio, which makes us the perfect state to host the Republican National Convention. I want to congratulate and thank all three Ohio cities for their hard work preparing their bids. While we are disappointed that Columbus did not advance, today's results make clear that Ohio is an important state with vibrant cities."

In a release, the RNC said:

Today the Republican National Committee's Site Selection Committee (SSC) voted to narrow the list of sites in contention for the 2016 Republican National Convention from eight to six cities. Cities moving on to the next round of consideration are Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City and Las Vegas.

A small team of RNC staff will visit the six cities for a more in-depth and technical look at financing, convention venues, media workspace and hotels. The SSC will reconvene soon after the RNC's spring meeting to make a determination on which of these six cities will receive official site visits from the full RNC delegation.

Following today's vote, SSC Chair Enid Mickelsen released the following statement:

"After a painstaking review, I'm pleased to announce that six cities have moved on to the next round of consideration for the 2016 Republican National Convention. The eyes of the world will be on the RNC and our host city in the summer of 2016, and these six cities have shown they have what it takes to move forward.

"In any other year, Columbus and Phoenix could have topped the list, but with so many strong cities competing, the committee had to make the difficult decision to narrow the field. Phoenix and Columbus are great American cities, and I hope they'll pursue a future bid for an RNC convention.

"I want to thank each city for their tireless efforts and hard work throughout this process, and I look forward to this next phase as we select a city to help us nominate the next Republican President of the United States."

The advance team will visit cities in April and May.

The announcement of cities getting full-scale visits will be made after the Republicans spring meeting in early May.

In May and June, the full Site Selection Committee and RNC delegation will make official city visits.

A party spokesman said he believed this is the first time the additional step has been taken. And it's because there were eight strong bids.

Cleveland also plans to pursue the Democratic convention. The party's request for proposals is expected very soon.

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