Republicans poised to choose Charlotte for 2020 convention

Posted at 4:06 PM, Jul 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-18 16:06:58-04

Charlotte, North Carolina, is poised to host its second major-party convention in a decade after Republican officials voted Wednesday to recommend the city for the party’s 2020 national convention.

The preliminary endorsement, confirmed by a party official familiar with the decision, sets the stage for a final vote Friday by the full Republican National Committee membership that is expected to pass.

Charlotte’s recent experience in hosting a national convention was at the center of the city’s pitch to Republicans. In 2012, the city welcomed Democrats and President Barack Obama as he sought his second term. Now Republicans and President Donald Trump will bring their distinct message to the same setting.

Republicans opted for Charlotte over Las Vegas, which also had been in the running to host the party’s 2016 convention. Supporters of Las Vegas argued that the city would be consistent with Trump’s unconventional brand and could appeal to a new generation of Republican voters.

However, the Las Vegas bid was complicated by allegations of sexual misconduct against casino and hotel mogul Steve Wynn, who steered early efforts to bring the convention to the city. Wynn stepped down earlier this year as the RNC’s finance chairman. The bid was later revived and spearheaded by Nevada Republican Party Chairman Michael McDonald.

Charlotte’s bid, while endorsed by Mayor Vi Lyles, received some pushback from members of the city council, which narrowly gave its approval Monday with a 6-5 vote following hours of public comment.

Seven cities initially expressed interest in hosting the Republican convention, including Dallas, Nashville and Milwaukee.