CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The dates for the Republican National Convention are now officially on the books, and excitement seems to be at an all-time-high. Convention organizers, both local and national, joined together to make the announcement Monday, that the 2020 convention will take place August 24 through August 27.
“This is exciting, this is really historic for Charlotte,” congressman Richard Hudson said at a press conference Monday. “We’re one of 11 cities now that will have hosted both [democratic and republican] conventions, and as someone who grew up here in Charlotte, who represents this region in Congress, I’m very excited about our opportunity to be on the world stage.”
Hudson was joined by major political players from both parties, including Lara Trump. Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law and senior campaign advisors is from Wilmington, and as a native North Carolinian, she was beaming about having the RNC in her home state.
“I was not a tough sell on this one,” Trump joked during the press conference. “It was so thrilling to me. I love this state. I know how special this state is. I know how incredible this city is.”
All the enthusiasm is going to come in handy, because now with dates decided, planning begins. Chairwoman of the Convention on Arrangements, Toni Anne Dashiell, is the lead organizer for the convention, and says right now, she and her committee are working on relationships.
“We’re establishing relationships right now, building on that, hearing the needs, but they also know what we want to do and how we want to make it successful together,” said Dashiell.
That ‘togetherness’ seemed to be an evident theme among all planning partners. Local convention organizers stressing that, in the end, the RNC isn’t just an event for Republicans, but a shining moment for the whole city of Charlotte.
“We are a democratic nation, and so it just gets to be an opportunity for Charlotte to brag about being one of the cities that can host both the republican and democratic convention, one of eleven, and that puts us on the map,” said Mayor Vi Lyles.
Congressman Richard Hudson echoed Mayor Lyles sentiments of the true bipartisan effort behind the convention coming to Charlotte.
"It’s emblematic of the group that came together, that made this convention happen in the first place. A very diverse group, political leaders from both sides of the aisle, from the business community. Just seeing Charlotte rally together around this effort has been inspiring, and it’s exciting to me,” said Hudson.
Charlotte city councilman Larken Egleston, who cast the deciding vote in favor of hosting the GOP back in July, agrees the convention should bring positive local impact regardless of party. “At the end of the day, we’re going to make sure that this goes well for Charlotte, and its businesses and its citizens, and that to me has got to be the focus, not the partisanship of the political arena.”
Toni Anne Dashiell says that major planning wont begin until after the elections, and the committee doesn’t plan to send staffer to Charlotte until the beginning of next year. For now, the focus is on fundraising. RNC host committee chair John Lassiter says they have an ultimate goal of $70 million. Lassiter told WBTV Monday that they’re ahead of schedule on their fundraising efforts. He says they don’t plan on spending their entire budget, and hope to put any excess dollars back into the local community.