By Alex Pappas, ,
Published July 20, 2018
The Republican National Committee on Friday officially selected Charlotte to host the 2020 Republican National Convention.
"I am thrilled to announce Charlotte as the official host city for the 2020 Republican National Convention,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement. “We look forward to seeing the Queen City take center stage as the Republican Party re-nominates President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence to continue fighting for the American people."
The unanimous vote in support of the North Carolina city location came during the RNC's summer meeting in Austin.
The other city under consideration was Las Vegas. But some Republican leaders feared the city's reputation, and the influence of casino moguls Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn on Republican politics, might cloud the convention's message.
"Charlotte has so much to offer, and we are excited to bring delegates to a city that has demonstrated its southern hospitality, showcased its vibrant energy, and proven that possibilities are endless,” RNC Site Selection Chairman Ron Kaufman said.
Charlotte has experience hosting major party conventions -- it hosted the Democratic National Convention in 2012.
Tom Murray, the CEO of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority CEO, said the city is prepared for the “tremendous responsibility” of welcoming 35,000 visitors to Charlotte for the convention and “can’t wait to get started."
On the ground in North Carolina earlier in the week, a divided Charlotte City Council narrowly approved a bid to welcome the convention.
Mayor Vi Lyles, Charlotte's first black female mayor, celebrated the announcement Friday.
"I believe this convention conveys a positive message supporting our city’s belief in acceptance and inclusion," Lyles, a Democrat, said. "This is our opportunity to, once again, put Charlotte in the international spotlight to demonstrate the democratic process and two-party system that we deeply value."
North Carolina voted for Barack Obama in 2008. It went for Trump in 2016.
Democrats, meanwhile, have narrowed their 2020 convention choices to Houston, Miami and Milwaukee. Anticipating a crowded and contentious primary battle, they're also planning to move up their convention date to give the party more time to come together before the fall general election.
Fox News’ Madeleine Rivera and The Associated Press contributed to this report.