Change of plans: GOP selects Jacksonville, FL as new site for Republican National Convention

It was chosen after Charlotte, NC, proved problematic.

Image Credit: Shuttersock

The GOP officially announced Friday that Jacksonville, FL, would be the new site for the August Republican National Convention after political considerations made Charlotte, NC, untenable. As this publication reported on the day Charlotte was dropped as the site, Jacksonville was the prime candidate because of its location and the fact that it has a GOP mayor and the state has a GOP governor. President Trump also makes Florida his home.

“We are thrilled to celebrate this momentous occasion in the great city of Jacksonville,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said. “Not only does Florida hold a special place in President Trump’s heart as his home state, but it is crucial in the path to victory in 2020.  We look forward to bringing this great celebration and economic boon to the Sunshine State in just a few short months.”

Republican mayor. Lenny Curry – a former state Republican Party chief made a strong argument for the event after political problems first arose with Charlotte. He said that that the city had successfully held a UFC [Ultimate Fighting Championship] event at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on May 13.  The mayor offered up the same location to President Trump for the Republican convention.

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“Today’s announcement is exciting news for the city of Jacksonville,” said Curry. “I enthusiastically welcome the opportunity to highlight everything our city has to offer, along with the tremendous economic impact. We look forward to hosting the 2020 Republican National Convention for all delegates and guests to enjoy.” Meanwhile, the RNC voted on Wednesday night to seriously scale back the business facets of the convention, which are still going to be held in Charlotte.

“I am not opposed to it,” said a local Democrat officials of the Republican convention coming to town. “I hope it works and I trust that the mayor is doing all the necessary homework, meaning his administration.” GOP Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Trump stalwart, said in a statement that Jacksonville will “showcase Florida’s energy, facilities, entrepreneurship and commitment to bring together the delegates of the Republican Party at a historic time in our nation’s history.”

Jacksonville NAACP President Isaiah Rumlin said, “Because of what is happening in this city at this particular time, they should encourage the president not to come here. With all of the rhetoric that he is going to bring especially as it relates to the protesting that has been going on here, covid-19 is going to be a problem for us.”

Dean Black, the chairman of the Duval County Republican Party did not agree and replied that the convention “doesn’t have to be divisive. It should be something that draws us together. It is a great event, an historic part of our representative government. A moment when we should draw together as one people, regardless of party affiliation.”

Security concerns should be less onerous than they would have been in another city, as Jacksonville is the home to an enthusiastic Trump base of military voters, there is a large naval base there, and retirees. It is also close to Georgia, a GOP state that the president needs to hold on to in November.

David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence and an honors graduate of the University of Maryland's European Division. He also served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

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