Ohio cities vie for 2016 GOP convention

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Representatives of Columbus, Cincinnati and Cleveland were among city representatives who went to Washington to chat with Republican officials who will choose the site for their 2016 convention.

The three cities from the critical swing state are in the running to host the convention, and the meetings Monday were informal sessions for GOP officials to answer questions about the process, officials said.

Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges said the meetings were an opportunity for the cities to “get the real lowdown on what it’s going to take,” according to The Columbus Dispatch.

He said the hourlong meetings went from high-level issues, such as arena size and hotel capacity, to “hypertechnical” details.

Brian Ross, president and CEO of Experience Columbus, the city’s visitors’ bureau, said landing the 2016 convention would be a tremendous economic-development opportunity for the area. The city has been aggressively promoting itself as the potential host.

“We treat it as our Super Bowl,” Ross said.

A convention would bring tens of thousands of delegates, campaign workers, journalists and other visitors to the area, and a week of heavy national media exposure. But it also requires the host committee to raise millions of dollars through donations.

In all, eight cities sent representatives to the meetings, including Kansas City, Mo.; Denver; Phoenix; Dallas; and Las Vegas.

RNC officials said cities still can submit a bid even if they didn’t attend one of the meetings held Monday.

Cincinnati officials have said the city’s bid would also highlight neighboring Kentucky.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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