By Mike Mendenhall and Monty Zickuhr
President Donald Trump is coming to Jacksonville to accept the 2020 Republican presidential nomination.
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel announced the move June 11 on Twitter.
“We are thrilled to hold @realDonaldTrump‘s acceptance of the Republican nomination in the great city of Jacksonville!” McDaniel said. “Not only is Florida his home state, it is crucial to victory. We look forward to bringing this great celebration and economic boon to the Sunshine State!”
The GOP convention is Aug. 24-27, with the presumptive nominee, Trump, speaking on the final night. Vice President Mike Pence would likely deliver his speech the night before.
“Today’s announcement is exciting news for the city of Jacksonville,” Mayor Lenny Curry said in a news release. “I enthusiastically welcome the opportunity to highlight everything our city has to offer, along with the tremendous economic impact. We look forward to hosting the 2020 Republican National Convention for all delegates and guests to enjoy.”
Like Trump, Curry is a Republican.
Curry said in the news release that Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Jordan Elsbury and Chief Administrator Brian Hughes worked to bring the event to Jacksonville.
Curry said Elsbury, Hughes and Visit Jacksonville President and CEO Michael Corrigan secured more than 10,000 hotel rooms and worked with ASM Global, the manager of VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, to line up venues.
“All of these combined are anticipated to bring an economic impact of more than $100 million to our city. We will continue to collaborate with local, state, and federal law enforcement to insure we host a safe and secure event,” Curry said in the release.
Trump was to deliver his speech in Charlotte, North Carolina, but disagreements with officials there led to Trump and RNC officials to tease Jacksonville as a “top contender” for an alternate site, the Florida GOP said in a June 9 tweet.
All of the convention is not moving to Jacksonville. A Duval GOP spokesperson said the “business portion” of the convention, including the party delegates official vote on Trump’s nomination, will remain in Charlotte.
Curry and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis have supported bringing the convention to Florida.
In a May 26 tweet, Curry offered VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena Downtown as an alternative site for the convention after Trump publicly expressed disapproval with North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat.
Cooper said the Republican National Committee would need to scale back the presidential nominating convention to allow for social distancing because of COVID-19.