San Antonio could rival Charlotte in potential bid to host 2020 Republican National Convention

San Antonio could rival Charlotte in potential bid to host 2020 Republican National Convention

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The city of Charlotte may soon have some official competition in its bid to host the 2020 Republican National Convention.

City officials have confirmed that San Antonio could be pursuing a last-minute bid to host the convention. The San Antonio City Council is expected to meet next to discuss putting in a bid.

In early April, Charlotte officially submitted a bid to host the event after months of preparing a proposal.

When the bid process was initially announced in mid-February, the submission was due by Feb. 28, but the deadline was extended for potential host cities. Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles says the Republican National Committee sent a letter back in December to Charlotte and other cities suggesting the city bid to host the 2020 Convention.

An official with the San Antonio Mayor's Office said the city received a request to submit a bid in February.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg sent a letter to the city council Wednesday informing them about the invitation from the GOP. In the letter obtained by WBTV, Nirenberg said he first learned about the request in late March during a meeting of business and civic leaders.

"At that time, I was informed that the Republican National Committee was interested in San Antonio as a possible location for its 2020 convention," he wrote to the council. "I was prepared to inform City Council about this opportunity during its executive session on March 28. However, prior to that date, I was informed that the GOP opted not to pursue a bid from San Antonio."

Nirenberg said he was informed Wednesday that the GOP "has renewed its interest in San Antonio, and is now actively seeking a convention bid."

Just days before, Nirenberg was sent an email from Brad Parscale, the re-election campaign manager for President Donald Trump.

"I clearly see San Antonio has a huge opportunity to host the Republican National Convention in San Antonio," Parscale said to Nirenberg in an email obtained by WBTV. "I am taking direct part in this decision making process and feel San Antonio has a great chance. As you know I am also Campaign Manager for President Trump."

Parscale told Nirenberg he'd been informed that San Antonio was not planning to submit a bid to host the convention and that is was "a big mistake."

"San Antonio has a great chance to win," Parscale wrote in the email. "This chance might not come again for decades."

FULL COVERAGE: The bid for the 2020 Republican National Convention

Parscale mentioned that the convention could result in a $250 million economic impact for the city and be "even larger than the final four."

Parscale told Nirenberg that he would be talking to "the committee" Tuesday afternoon and wanted to tell them if San Antonio planned to put in a proposal for the convention.

A San Antonio city official told WBTV that Nirenberg did not respond to Parscale's email.

Parscale has vented his frustrated at Nirenberg through social media, tweeting or retweeting at least nine tweets aimed at Nirenberg, calling him "weak-kneed."

"So why does weak-kneed [Ron Nirenberg] need a Council vote?" he tweeted. "The NBA All-Star game, previous DNC/GOP conventions, and multiple Final Fours all DID NOT have votes. Truth is we had leaders as our Mayor then."

"Maybe you should think about helping to grow the economy to help make some payments on that debt," Parscale wrote in one tweet. "Weak-kneed Ron will just leave them with a city with low paying jobs and little opportunity. Shipping the kids off to Austin, Houston and Dallas where they can make a living!"

Officials from the National GOP have not been able to comment on the bidding process for the Republican National Convention, including the new deadline for proposals or how many other cities are in the running to host.

San Antonio has submitted bids to host national conventions in the past but has never been selected as the host city for either political party. Charlotte hosted the Democratic National Convention in 2012.

Pat McCrory, who has previously held office as mayor of Charlotte and Governor of North Carolina, says hosting the convention for the Republican Party isn't a lock for the Queen City.

"The RNC is going to try to get as many bidders as possible so that they can play fodder," McCrory told WBTV's Steve Crump in early April. "Column fodder against each other and get some competition. That's beneficial to the RNC."

Pitting one city against another is the way political conventions are brokered.

"[North Carolina is] a red Blue State where the presidential election could be determined by how North Carolina goes," he said.

Texas was a stronghold for President Trump during the 2016 presidential election, although Texas Senator Ted Cruz won a majority of the delegates during the Texas Republican Party primary.

President Trump's campaign became the tenth Republican campaign in a row to win Texas, although his victory over Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton was the smallest margin since the 1996 presidential election.

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