PHOENIX - Several cities are fighting for the chance to host this summer’s Republican National Convention after President Donald Trump pulled out of North Carolina when the governor wouldn’t commit to a full convention due to coronavirus concerns.
"Because of [North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper], we are not forced to seek another state to host the 2020 Republican National Convention," President Trump tweeted.
Arizona looking for a chance to host the convention
A convention could bring $200 million to $300 million to a state's economy, something that would benefit businesses that have been hit hard by shutdowns related to COVID-19, especially businesses in the hospitality industry.
The Valley has never hosted the Republican National Convention, but Congresswoman Debbie Lesko thinks this summer is a good time to start, and do it in her district of Glendale.
Congresswoman Lesko, a Republican, represents Arizona's 8th Congressional District, which covers parts of the West Valley.
"I’m trying to get it here because it would really help the businesses in our community," said Rep. Lesko. "I mean, it would really be a big boost for them."
Rep. Lesko didn’t want Arizona left out, so she picked up the phone.
"I texted the mayor, the governor, the RNC. I even texted the White House. I am on it man," said Rep. Lesko.
The leading contender for a site seems to be Gila River Arena, where the Arizona Coyotes play hockey.
Glendale's mayor, Jerry Weiers, doesn’t care if it’s Republicans or Democrats spending money in his city. He says Glendale has a proven track record of hosting big events safely and successfully.
"I'd spend a lot of time to manage folks to make sure that they can do everything safely and successfully," said Weiers. "If I could get DNC to have their convention immediately after, I would, because it would help all my citizens, not just some of them."
In Phoenix, Mayor Kate Gallego issued a statement that reads, in part:
"Discussions about gatherings of any kind during this pandemic must be ed by medical professionals and no one else."
This is all in the very early stages, but the mayor and congresswoman say RNC staff members will visit Glendale to see if it would work. On Wednesday, they checked out Nashville. Other top contenders include Las Vegas and Jacksonville, Florida.