Reps from Denver, other cities begin official push for Republican convention

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Downtown Denver

WASHINGTON — Holding the 2016 Republican National Convention in a location that could help the party politically-such as in a swing state–may be a “factor” in the decision-making process, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus told reporters on Monday.

But it’s not the RNC’s highest priority, he argued.

“We have to make sure we put on a convention that gives our nominee a bump. To me that is the number one purpose of having a convention,” he said.

And the fundamental part of having a good convention is ensuring the logistics are in place, he continued.

The eight cities hoping to host the GOP convention began making their pitches Monday tothe RNC’s site selection committee.

Representatives from Columbus, Kansas City, Denver, Phoenix, and Cleveland are in Washington, D.C. this week to make their case to hold the next GOP presidential convention.

A major snow storm prevented Dallas, Cincinnati and Las Vegas officials from traveling to the nation’s capital, but the RNC says those cities will have a chance to make their presentations on March 21.

Enid Mickelson, chairman of the RNC’s site selection committee, said the number of cities vying to be host cities is almost three times as many as in the last presidential cycle.

Hosting a convention is expensive-host committees are expected to raise upwards of $60 million to help pay for the event. Priebus said a city’s ability for “securing the dollars” will be the priority.

“It’s a business decision,” he said.

In return, the boon for the city is a swarm of 50,000 new visitors, an economic boost that can bleed into the surrounding communities, and a chance to be in the international spotlight.

But Priebus said cities must prove they have the transportation, hotel space and other logistical details to accommodate delegates, attendees, reporters and tight security requirements.

They also have to be prepared to hold a convention as early as late June or mid-July, Priebus added. The RNC approved a rules change in January that would move up the event from its usual time slot of late August or early September.

The last time Republicans won the state where they had their convention was the 1992 presidential election, after the RNC was held in Houston, Texas. Asked if electoral politics would come into play–especially given that three of the contending cities are located in the crucial swing state of Ohio–Priebus said “it can be a factor, but certainly it wouldn’t trump some of the other issues I’ve laid out.”

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