CLEVELAND, Ohio (WKBN) - Republicans across the state have been working for six months to bring the Republican National Convention to Ohio and their efforts paid off.
It was announced Tuesday that Cleveland will host the 2016 GOP National Convention, which Mahoning County Republican Party Chairman Mark Munroe said is something to celebrate. He said the RNC choosing Cleveland is great news for the entire state, because it once again shows how important Ohio is when it comes to electing a president.
Some people were surprised Cleveland beat out Dallas, which is a more conservative metropolitan area. But Munroe said it is not about one city.
“It is a recognition that it is going to start in Ohio. And then it is going to end in Ohio. Ohio is once again going to play a pivotal role in the presidential campaign of 2016,” Munroe said. “This is a national stage. This is not about the demographic makeup of the community around the convention hall. This is about Ohio. Ohio plays a key role in almost every presidential campaign. This cycle will be no exception.”
When it comes to benefits for local businesses, most hotels in the Valley said they are not anticipating a flood of reservations from the RNC. The Cafaro Corp. said most of the business benefit is expected to be in the Cleveland-Akron-Canton area.
U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, who met with the Cleveland Host Committee on Friday, said he has been in touch with RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and the RNC site selection committee. He released the following statement:
“This is great news for Cleveland and our entire state,” Portman said. “It’s a unique opportunity to showcase the new Cleveland as one of America’s great cities, and to bring dollars and jobs to Ohio. I am really proud of the way the Cleveland community has come together to support the first national convention in Ohio since 1936. The Cleveland community deserves the credit for making it happen. I’ll continue to work closely with the Cleveland host committee and the RNC regarding convention planning to help whenever I can to ensure this is a successful convention.”
But Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern released a statement of his own.
“It is great that Republicans across the country will spend seven days in Cuyahoga County seeing the fruits of the successful leadership of Ed FitzGerald, Mayor Frank Jackson and Cuyahoga County’s next County Executive, Armond Budish. The region’s rebirth is due to their leadership and the hard work of the people of Cuyahoga County,” his statement said.
U.S. Congressman Tim Ryan, D-Niles, also released a statement.
“I am pleased that the Republican Party has chosen to highlight the great things happening in Northeast Ohio by selecting of Cleveland to host their 2016 National Convention. This will highlight the tremendous assets of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County and all of Northeast Ohio. The Republican National Convention means jobs, economic development, and a positive focus on our region. I applaud the city of Cleveland, Mayor Frank Jackson, Rep. Marcia Fudge and Rep. Marcy Kaptur for winning this great honor. I look forward to Cleveland rising to the occasion and shining on the national stage,” Ryan’s statement said.
Cleveland and Columbus both remain on the short list to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention.