UK Politics

GOP Looks to Other States for Republican Convention While Holding Out Hope for North Carolina

Update: President Donald Trump announced Tuesday night that he is seeking a new state to host the Republican National Convention in the summer, after North Carolina refused to guarantee the event could be held in Charlotte without restrictions amid the CCP virus pandemic.

A top Republican official said the party is moving forward with considering other cities and states for its key summer convention while expressing hope that Charlotte, North Carolina, the GOPs first choice, would still materialize.

Republican National Committee (RNC) chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a June 2 statement that the GOP would start visiting the cities and states that have offered to host the partys four-day nominating convention, scheduled to open on Aug. 24, at which Republicans are expected to officially nominate President Donald Trump for a second term.

McDaniel said the party still hopes to “conduct the business of our convention” at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, which Trump, the RNC, and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, have all indicated is their first choice.

“We have now communicated to Governor Coopers office multiple times that we would like to showcase Charlotte and the wonderful state of North Carolina to the world by hosting the convention we contracted for nearly two years ago,” McDaniel said, calling the convention a “historic event to show that America is open for business.”

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The Republican National Committee holds a media walkthrough for the 2020 Republican National Convention, at the Spectrum Center Arena in Charlotte, N.C., on Nov. 12, 2019. (Jim Bourg/Reuters)

But the type of “full convention” that Trump and the RNC are seeking, which Cooper said in a letter (pdf) Tuesday includes around 19,000 people attending along with “full hotels and restaurants and bars at capacity,” will be “highly unlikely.”

Cooper instead insisted the Republicans plan for a lower-key event due to the pandemic.

“The people of North Carolina do not know what the status of COVID-19 will be in August so planning for a scaled-down convention with fewer people, social distancing, and face coverings is a necessity,” he wrote.

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North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper takes part in a meeting in Providence, R.I., on July 13, 2017. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)

“As much as we want the conditions surrounding COVID-19 to be favorable enough for you to hold the convention you describe in late August, it is very unlikely,” Cooper added.

Republican officials so far have submitted proposals for a “full convention” rather than one with fewer participants and social distancing as requested by the state, Cooper said.

“Neither public health officials nor I will risk the health and safety of North Carolinians by providing the guarantee you seek,” he said in his letter, referring to a guarantee that convention attendance would not be limited by social distancing restrictions.

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The Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C., is seen on Nov. 13, 2019, the planned site of the 2020 Republican National Convention. (Daniel Slim/AFP/Getty Images)

In a back-and-forth that has gone on for weeks, McDaniel said Tuesday Cooper was “dragging his feet on giving us any guidance as to how to move forward” with organizing the convention safely.

Trump told reporters at the White House on May 26 that he wanted assurances that a full convention could be held, and pressed Cooper to commit.

“We need a fast decision from the governor,” TruRead More From Source


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