Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel announced on Thursday that the party has moved its celebration of the re-nomination of President Donald Trump to Jacksonville, Florida, after running into problems in North Carolina.
The Charlotte Observer reported that the official business of the convention will still take place in Charlotte this August, but after the first day, the remaining three days of the event will take place in Jacksonville.
“We are thrilled to celebrate this momentous occasion in the great city of Jacksonville,” McDaniel said in a statement. “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.”
The RNC said in a statement that it moved the celebration portion of the convention because Democrat Governor Roy Cooper “refused to provide assurances” that the celebration could take place in Charlotte due to social distancing measures over the coronavirus pandemic, which originated in China.
The move could generate over $100 million in revenue for Jacksonville, the AP reported, adding that the city has a population of 1.5 million people and is home to a major military base.
Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) responded to the news in a tweet, writing: “I’m biased, but this is a great choice! The state of Florida and the city of Jacksonville are ready and excited to host President @realDonaldTrump for the fun part of the Republican Convention. It’s the first step towards a big win in November!”
I’m biased, but this is a great choice!
The state of Florida and the city of Jacksonville are ready and excited to host President @realDonaldTrump for the fun part of the Republican Convention. It’s the first step towards a big win in November! https://t.co/T9NosKbsID
— Rick Scott (@ScottforFlorida) June 12, 2020
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis responded to the news by saying in a statement: “Florida is honored to host this special event where we will celebrate the re-nomination of President Donald J. Trump. Jacksonville is a great city that 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.”
Fox News noted that Jacksonville was attractive to Republican officials from the start because the city has a Republican mayor, Lenny Curry, who made a strong pitch for the city to host the celebration by offering up the same venue that the city has used to host a major UFC fight—VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.
Curry responded to the news by saying, “Today’s announcement is a huge win for the City of Jacksonville to host the celebration of President Trump’s acceptance of the nomination. The opportunity to highlight all our city has to offer and the tremendous economic impact is one I enthusiastically welcome, and we look forward to hosting an exciting event for all delegates and guests to enjoy.”
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