ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said on Wednesday that he spoke with the Republican Party leadership about moving the party’s summer conference to Orlando.
What you need to know
- Rumor has it that RNC is moving from Charlotte, NC to Orlando
- Florida Governor DeSantis supports the move if a move is decided
- Representatives of the City of Orlando, Orange Co. say they have not been approached
Rumor has it that The City Beautiful is one of several cities under consideration, including Jacksonville, Florida; Nashville, Tennessee; and Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Republican National Convention is scheduled for August in Charlotte, North Carolina, where the Democratic National Convention was held in 2012.
Tensions between the party and North Carolina state leaders have increased as a result coronavirus.
President Donald Trump tweeted on Tuesday that Governor Roy Cooper, a North Carolina Democrat, forced the GOP to “look for another state to host the convention.”
Cooper has stopped giving a ‘guarantee’ that the party can hold a ‘full convention’ with more than 20,000 people.
“We have continued to say that we want to talk to you about a scaled down convention, but we cannot guarantee that you will have a full arena by the end of August,” Cooper said Tuesday. “I hope they will continue to talk to us about a reduced convention, we are willing to discuss that, and are still waiting for answers to our health questions about how they would take steps to protect people from social distance and face masks, and have we heard no response from it. ‘
With the president threatening to move the convention, other states are now struggling to host the event.
DeSantis told reporters on Wednesday that Orlando would be a “logical location.”
“North Carolina approached it by saying ‘OK it’s a standard no and then we might see it’ and my opinion would be that it should be a standard yes and as we get closer you can decide how to do it does, “DeSantis said.
The governor said he has spoken to the GOP leadership and believes that further measures may be needed to mitigate risks, such as temperature screening, social distance and wearing masks.
Orlando and Orange County city spokesmen say they have not been approached by GOP representatives about hosting the event.
A conference in Orlando would be a kind of homecoming for President Trump. He hosted his reelection campaign launch rally on June 18, 2019 at Amway Center in Downtown Orlando.
Charles Hart, president of Orange County Republicans, told Spectrum News that despite the short timing, he is confident Orlando will get it done.
“We are the beautiful city, so Orlando is internationally known for its hospitality, hotels, food, entertainment and people,” said Hart.
All attributes that are readily available and low in demand, which may make Orlando even more attractive for a sudden big event.
A spokesman for the Republican National Convention told Spectrum News that the convention will be held in a different city, but left open the possibility of staying in Charlotte.
“Due to the governor’s directive that our convention cannot proceed as scheduled under our rules, the celebration of acceptance by the President of the Republican nomination will be held in a different city,” a GOP spokesperson told Spectrum News. “Should the governor admit more than ten people to a room, we still hope to conduct the official affairs of the Charlotte Congress.”
The party statement also leaves some wondering if the Republican Party could consider some sort of split convention, with some official party trading in Charlotte, and the speech of the president’s appointment elsewhere.
With Central Florida’s political and electoral weight, Hart believes Orlando believes Orlando is a more logical choice to move the convention.
“Not only can it be a good strategy, but getting to know voters you need to win, outside of strategy it makes sense,” said Hart.