Then-candidate Donald Trump onstage with his running mate, Mike Pence, and their families at the end of the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Republicans have chosen Charlotte, N.C., a city that hosted Democrats’ convention in 2012, to host their 2020 convention. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
The Republican National Convention in 2020 will be held in Charlotte, N.C., the party announced on Friday. The city was the only known contender to formally bid for the convention, and it is the city that hosted Democrats’ convention in 2012 when President Barack Obama was renominated.
“We look forward to seeing the Queen City take center stage as the Republican Party renominates President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence,” Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement.
Charlotte’s recent history of hosting a national convention appeared to boost its bid. It also sits in a swing state that was key to Trump’s 2016 victory. His campaign referred to it as part of the “core four” states necessary to win, including Ohio, Iowa and Florida.
Democrats announced that they would hold their convention earlier than usual, in mid-July of 2020, before that year’s Summer Olympics. The location of the 2020 DNC is down to three finalists: Houston, Miami Beach and Milwaukee.
The city of Charlotte was split over hosting the GOP convention. The city council voted 6-5 in favor of the bid on Monday, in a meeting where more than 100 people spoke, NPR member station WFAE reports.
“I’d no sooner bring Donald Trump and the RNC to Charlotte — to the home that I choose and love, where my wife and I are raising our black son — any sooner than I would support a Klan rally in this city,” said Justin Harlow, a Democrat on the city council.
The pitch was supported by the local tourism industry, as well as Democratic Mayor Vi Lyles. “Hosting the RNC is not an endorsement of the administration,” she said at the council meeting on Monday. “I believe that hosting the Republican convention, the RNC, is about what opportunities we can make of it after this very, very difficult time of deliberation.”
Convention cities are often seen as strategic political choices, but the track record is spotty for candidates to win the state in which they hold their convention.
Trump won Ohio after the 2016 RNC in Cleveland, but by a fairly wide margin that wouldn’t have been decisively affected by the convention. Hillary Clinton lost Pennsylvania on the heels of the 2016 DNC in Philadelphia. In 2012, Obama lost North Carolina after his Charlotte convention, just as Mitt Romney lost Florida that year, after his convention in Tampa.