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Cleveland A Finalist To Host 2016 Republican Convention

The Republican National Committee says Cleveland and Dallas are the two finalists to host the party's convention in 2016. Denver and Kansas City have been eliminated from contention. The committee earlier rejected bids from Columbus and several other cities. RNC leaders are expected to select the winning city later this summer. Nick Castele of member station WCPN in Cleveland reports.

When the GOP said it would be announcing the next step in its selection process, rumors flew that the party was booting Cleveland from the list of contenders.

Instead, word came down from Republicans that Kansas City and Denver were out—leaving Cleveland and Dallas still in the running.

In its statement, the GOP didn’t explain why Cleveland advanced, or why the party’s been whittling down the list of possibilities one or two cities at a time.

Local business leaders pitched this as a sign their efforts to build hotels and restaurants downtown is getting notice. The city has lost past bids over an inadequate number of hotel rooms.

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said he was pleased – but cautious.

“Yes, I’m happy,” Jackson said in response to a reporter’s question at a press conference. “I’m happy that this is occurring. But at the same time I’m very practical, and I know there’s a lot of work left to be done, so I’m not in the mode of celebrating yet.”

Next week the GOP sends a technical crew to town. They’ll likely be taking another look at where much of the the convention will be held.

There’s also the question of money. A convention could take $50 million to $60 million, or more. Members of the local host committee crafting the bid say they’re confident they can raise enough cash.

It’s not clear yet when exactly the GOP will make a decision. Cleveland is also in the running for the Democratic convention.

Jim has been with WCBE since 1996. Before that he worked as a reporter at another Columbus radio station, and for three newspapers in Southwest Florida.
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