RNC 2020

The Spectrum Center in uptown Charlotte will host the 2020 Republican National Convention.
Credit Jennifer Lang / WFAE

The Republican National Convention is set to descend on Charlotte Aug. 24-27, 2020. For a few days, uptown will be an international focal point of political news. Republican Donald Trump is the first impeached president seeking reelection in U.S. history, and the convention comes amid a tumultuous time in American politics.

The convention won't just have a political impact – the massive event will also affect traffic and travel for thousands of uptown Charlotte workers, residents and visitors. It's also sure to draw supporters and protesters alike, presenting a security challenge for law enforcement. But Charlotte has some experience already, having hosted the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

The 2020 convention created local controversy more than a year ahead of its arrival, with City Council members' decision to host the RNC a campaign issue for challengers in the 2019 municipal elections — not to mention City Council voting 9-2 in July 2019 to condemn President Trump for "racist and xenophobic language."

The RNC – and how Charlotte landed it and prepares for it – is also the subject of WFAE's "Inside Politics" podcast, hosted by award-winning reporters Lisa Worf and Steve Harrison, launching January 2020. 

Flickr / Gage Skidmore

Monday, Aug. 10, 2020

A roundup of the political scene as this unlike-any-other election year nears some familiar mileposts: the selection of a running mate and the conventions. But even those are going to be unusual.

Erin Keever / WFAE

North Carolina health officials will allow the small Republican National Convention to have more than 10 people gathered indoors at a time, an accommodation the state said it's making "in the spirit of accommodating the unique interests and needs of the convention."

The GOP says delegates will wear masks at the small business-only convention in Charlotte

The Republican National Committee on Wednesday released its health plan for its upcoming business-only convention in Charlotte that starts in less than three weeks.

Trump Considering Giving Convention Speech From White House

Aug 5, 2020
Donald Trump
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

WASHINGTON  — President Donald Trump said Wednesday he'll probably deliver his Republican convention acceptance speech from the White House now that plans to hold the event in two battleground states have been foiled by coronavirus concerns and restrictions.

GOP: Trump's Charlotte Renomination To Be Held In Private

Aug 2, 2020
Gage Skidmore / flickr/CC BY 2.0

WASHINGTON — The vote to renominate President Donald Trump is set to be conducted in private later this month, without members of the press present, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Convention said, citing the coronavirus.

Erin Keever / WFAE

President Trump on Thursday called off the Jacksonville, Florida, portion of the Republican National Convention, saying, “it’s not the right time” for a large convention. The GOP last month moved most of the convention from Charlotte after Gov. Roy Cooper wouldn’t guarantee the Republicans a packed house at the Spectrum Center.

Updated at 6:56 p.m. ET

The Jacksonville, Fla., component of the Republican National Convention has been canceled, President Trump announced on Thursday, as cases of the coronavirus continue to spike across that state.

"I looked at my team and I said the timing for this event is not right. It's just not right with what's been happening," Trump said at the daily coronavirus briefing.

Duval County, Fla., Sheriff Mike Williams on Monday said Jacksonville police are not currently able to provide security for the Republican National Convention, citing poor planning and a lack of funding for the last-minute event.

Trump's Grand GOP Convention Plans Shrink As Virus Surges

Jul 16, 2020
Paul Brennan / Public Domain

President Donald Trump's plans for a grand convention keep shrinking.

The Republican National Committee announced Thursday that it is sharply restricting attendance on three of the four nights of its convention in Jacksonville, Florida, next month.

The Republican Party announced Thursday morning that it is scaling back its upcoming nominating convention and will hold what party chair Ronna McDaniel is calling a "convention celebration" next month in Jacksonville, Fla.

Bowing to the realities of holding a mass gathering in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic in Florida, which has seen a spike in new cases, attendance at the convention during its first few days, Aug. 24-26, will be limited to delegates only, which is a little more than 2,500 people.

President Trump is acknowledging that he may have to temper his expectations, adamant at times, that his acceptance speech at the 2020 Republican National Convention should be a big event in front of thousands of people.

"We're very flexible," Trump said when asked during an interview Tuesday with Gray Television whether he may not have as big a gathering next month as he's planned on to celebrate his renomination to lead the GOP presidential ticket.

City of Jacksonville

The Republican National Committee moved most of its convention from Charlotte to Jacksonville, Florida, in part because President Trump did not want delegates wearing masks.

But the city of Jacksonville announced on Monday that it's now requiring face coverings in all indoor and public spaces when social distancing isn't possible.

Jennifer Lang / WFAE

The local host committee for Charlotte's 2020 Republican National Committee said Friday that its work has been met with "broken promises" and that "we need to stop pretending there's any part of the convention that will remain in Charlotte."

Paul Brennan / Public Domain

Charlotte -- long slated to host the 2020 Republican National Convention -- has now lost the convention's main event. 

Jennifer Lang / WFAE

The RNC's executive committee voted on Wednesday night to keep official convention business in Charlotte - but it sharply limited the number of delegates attending to 336, according to an RNC official.

Visit Jacksonville

The Republican National Committee has tentatively decided to move much of its political convention to Jacksonville, Florida, while leaving some of the business aspects of the convention in Charlotte, according to a story in the Washington Post.

GOP Lawmakers Push Bill To Keep Trump, RNC In North Carolina

Jun 8, 2020
The North Carolina legislative building is seen in Raleigh.

RALEIGH — Republican lawmakers in North Carolina are planning to vote this week on a measure that would allow President Donald Trump to speak in front of a packed Republican National Convention without some of the restrictions officials have required elsewhere to stop the coronavirus.

Savannah, Georgia

Top Republican officials toured Savannah, Georgia, on Monday as a possible site for much of the Republican National Convention.

RNC Votes To Conduct Only Official Convention Business In Charlotte

Jun 4, 2020
Erin Keever / WFAE

RALEIGH — President Donald Trump won't accept his party's nomination in North Carolina, but the Republican National Committee confirmed Thursday that it would still hold meetings in Charlotte.

Spectrum Center

The city of Charlotte said Wednesday that it has spent $14 million to prepare for the Republican National Convention -- an event that may not happen in the city at all.  

Dashiell Coleman / WFAE

The city of Nashville, Tennessee  -- a possible site for a relocated Republican National Convention -- doesn’t plan to pursue all or parts of the event, according to the mayor’s office.

Jennifer Lang / WFAE

President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday evening that the RNC will be "forced to seek another state to host" the event that is slated to be held in Charlotte's Spectrum Center in August. The GOP, however, clarified that the "celebration of the president's acceptance" of the nomination will take place in another city, but the business side of the convention could remain in Charlotte.

Spectrum Center

As tensions mount over whether the 2020 Republican National Convention will actually be held in Charlotte during the coronavirus pandemic, North Carolina's governor is telling organizers they need to plan for a scaled-down event with face masks.

Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel, meanwhile, says the GOP is ready to "begin visiting" other cities and states for possible venues. 

Spectrum Center

The Republican National Committee wants Gov. Roy Cooper's assurance by Wednesday that a "full convention" can take place in Charlotte this summer. It's the latest in an ongoing back-and-forth between the Democratic governor and officials organizing the Republican National Convention that's set to start Aug. 24 at the Spectrum Center.

Trump, Cooper Speak About GOP Convention Details

May 30, 2020
Roy Cooper
NC Department of Safety

RALEIGH — President Donald Trump and North Carolina's governor disagreed on Friday over the viability of a full-fledged Republican National Convention, the governor's office said, as Trump does not want to see signs of the pandemic in his renomination audience.

Mandy Cohen
NC Department of Public Safety

North Carolina Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen responded to the GOP on Friday morning about its plans for the Republican National Convention, asking party leaders for more information about how they plan to hold the event safely in Charlotte.

Jennifer Lang / WFAE

Top GOP leaders said  Thursday their health protocols for the Republican National Convention in Charlotte will rely on pre-travel health surveys, daily health care questions that can be answered by an app and thermal scans of all attendees.

NC Gov. Cooper: RNC Hasn't Submitted Safety Plan

May 28, 2020
NC Department of Public Safety

North Carolina's governor said Thursday that his administration hasn't received the written safety plan for the upcoming Republican National Convention requested by his health secretary in response to President Donald Trump's demands for a full-scale event.

Spectrum Center
Erin Keever / WFAE

Updated 4 p.m.

The mayor of Jacksonville, Florida, and Georgia's governor tweeted on Tuesday that their states "would be honored" to host the Republican National Convention if it leaves Charlotte. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, meanwhile, said he's looking forward to "continued talks" about COVID-19 safety with RNC organizers after President Trump tweeted that the convention could be moved to another state.   

Jennifer Lang / WFAE

Updated 4 p.m.

President Trump tweeted Monday morning that unless North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper guarantees that the GOP can "fully occupy" the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, the GOP will be "reluctantly forced" to find another home for the Republican National Convention.