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Charlotte Area News

Spectrum News Reporter Talks Committee's Selection Of Charlotte For 2020 RNC

Kirstin Garriss

It’s all-but-official that Charlotte will host the 2020 Republican National Convention. The Republican National Committee’s site selection panel voted Wednesday to bring the event to the Queen City.

The vote took place in Austin, Texas, where the RNC is meeting this week. Government reporter for Spectrum News Kirstin Garriss joined “All Things Considered” host Mark Rumsey by phone from Austin to discuss the decision.

Mark Rumsey: It sounds like it's essentially a done deal that the convention is coming to Charlotte.

Kirstin Garriss: Basically this morning, the RNC committee met in a closed session. We talked directly with Nevada GOP chairman Michael McDonald. He was representing Las Vegas, who was also a finalist, and he said Charlotte has been selected. He was disappointed that Las Vegas didn't make the cut, but he thinks he'll have a fantastic time in Charlotte.

The official vote will be this Friday, and that is when the full RNC will get together and take a vote to finalize the deal. But it's basically coming in 2022.

Rumsey: This week, Charlotte City Council members just barely voted to support the city's GOP convention bid. Do you know if the lack of a strong consensus locally caused any concern for the site selection committee?

Garriss: I asked the Mecklenburg County GOP party about that. Sarah Reidy-Jones Jones is their vice president in Charlotte and she says, you know, they feel like the fact that Charlotte voted — and that it was a close vote — represents that America is divided, but also how it can come together. The fact that there were Democrats who did vote for a Republican convention speaks volumes.

I know this morning before the RNC election meetings started, one Chairman said that they thank the Charlotte City Council for voting which basically again opened up a pathway for this convention to come to Charlotte. So they knew about what happened, but they think that the perfect reason to come is to show off how they can be inclusive.

Rumsey: We have just 20 seconds or so here, Kirstin. Any better feel from Austin as to why so few cities went after this convention?

Garriss: We were told today that at least seven cities went to Washington D.C. for the interested cities meeting. But all we know is that Charlotte made a good pitch and the RNC is coming in two years. We'll have a convention.