What you need to know about the Republican National Convention and how it works

Updated: Jan. 17, 2020 at 11:19 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - As it gets closer to time for the 2020 elections, it’s important to understand the relevance of the Republican National Convention (RNC) and and how it works, considering the convention comes to Charlotte in August.

It will bring President Donald Trump to the Queen City, as well as tourists, celebrities and other politicians.

Still, many people don’t understand what makes the RNC so significant, so WBTV spoke about the event with the former General Counsel to the Republican National Committee John Ryder.

Many people hear RNC and become confused about the difference between the Republican National Committee and the Republican National Convention. WBTV asked Ryder to explain the committee’s role in the convention.

“The Republican National Committee calls the convention into order. The convention then convenes, adopts a platform, selects a nominee, but then also reconstitutes the national committee and the national committee conducts the business of the Republican Party between conventions,” Ryder said. “And so then four years after Charlotte, the Republican National Committee will call the next convention for 2024. The national committee consists of 168 members, three members from each state and territory."

Another lesser known fact about the convention is how delegates are chosen for it.

“There will be 2,550 delegates in Charlotte, a similar number of alternate delegates, and then each alternate and delegate has guest passes. So you’re looking at about 10,000 people showing up just to be in the convention hall. These people are chosen in their states. Again, according to the rules of the Republican Party in that state. In some states it’s by convention, in some it’s by caucus, in some states it’s on the primary ballot. So it varies widely among the 50 States and six territories,” Ryder said.

Besides the obvious role of nominating a president and vice president, many people are unclear about the main purpose and importance of the convention. Ryder gave insight into the most important factors of the convention.

“Well, the adoption of the platform is very important and the adoption of the rules which will govern the Republican party from convention to convention,” Ryder said. “I would say the rules, the platform and the nomination of the candidate are the three major and most important activities of the convention.”

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