Republican Convention 01

Could the Republican National Convention be split between two cities this summer? Utah GOP Chairman Derek Brown says it’s a distinct possibility. 

On Tuesday, President Trump tweeted that he would be “forced to seek another State to host the Republican National Convention” amid a feud with North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper over that state’s coronavirus restrictions. 

Brown tells UtahPolicy.com that the national Republican Party is looking at possibly splitting the convention between two locations, with the business portion of the convention remaining in Charlotte, and the pomp and circumstance happening in another location that will allow large gatherings to accommodate the thousands of delegates, media and special guests who will attend. Official business functions like setting the party’s platform may remain in Charlotte. The official nomination of Donald Trump, along with his acceptance speech and the customary balloon drop, will happen elsewhere

“What that would look like, I don’t even know,” said Brown. “This is completely new territory.”

Brown says he’s heard from officials with the national party that several cities are under consideration to host the celebration portion of the convention. He says he’s heard Nashville and other locations are vying to host the event. Brown says Utah will not make a play to host even though the state is moving rapidly to lift restrictions because of the virus. 

ABC News reports that Nashville is the frontrunner as the new host site, but Las Vegas, Orlando and Jacksonville, Florida are also under consideration as are locations in Georgia and Texas. West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice also reportedly expressed interest in hosting the event. 

“We’re not making a push as a state. I know other states are angling to be the host, but we’re not going to be in the mix,” he said.

That makes some sense since Utah is not exactly Trump territory. Trump's job performance rating is in negative territory according to the latest UtahPolicy.com/KUTV 2News survey from Y2 Analytics.

Of greater concern to Brown is firming up travel plans for the states 40 delegates and 37 alternates who will take part in the GOP convention this summer.

“At this point, we have a lot of delegates that can’t make their travel plans,” he said. There are a group of us that will have to participate in the formal business part, meet in Charlotte in committees, then turn around and fly to the second location.”

The Utah delegation recently elected Sen. Mike Lee as the chairman of the group. Other prominent Utahns who were elected to positions that would require them to split their time between the two convention locations include 4th District GOP candidate Kim Coleman, Utah Senate President Stuart Adams, Salt Lake County Councilwoman Aimee Winder Newton and House Speaker Brad Wilson.