Georgia Republicans intensify push to land RNC in Atlanta

Ivanka Trump, daughter of Republican Presidential Nominee Donald J. Trump, waves as she walks off stage after introduction her father during the final day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Thursday, July 21, 2016. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Ivanka Trump, daughter of Republican Presidential Nominee Donald J. Trump, waves as she walks off stage after introduction her father during the final day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Thursday, July 21, 2016. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Credit: J. Scott Applewhite

Credit: J. Scott Applewhite

Top Georgia Republicans have intensified their efforts to land the party’s presidential nominating convention, though some officials consider the state’s chances a remote possibility.

Gov. Brian Kemp vowed the state can "safely host" the Republican National Convention amid a rollback of coronavirus regulations. U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler and U.S. Rep. Doug Collins have appealed to President Donald Trump to choose the state.

And on Wednesday, the state's entire Republican delegation penned Trump a letter extolling the virtues of the Georgia World Congress Center,  Atlanta’s busy airport, and the city's experience hosting other high-profile events.

“Beyond Atlanta, communities across our state stand ready to welcome you and the thousands of delegates, attendees, and vendors for the 2020 Convention,” read the letter. “Thank you for your consideration. We hope Georgia is on your mind.”

The lobbying intensified after Trump demanded this week that the GOP pull the gathering from Charlotte over a stalemate with local Democratic officials regarding coronavirus limits.

The Republican National Committee indicated it would move Trump’s nominating speech to another city, and possibly scatter other events elsewhere, too. But the party will still hold certain convention business in Charlotte to avoid breaking a contract.

Republicans would find a similar resistance in Atlanta, where Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has warned that inviting thousands of visitors would defy the city's "phased, data-driven approach to reopening."

While Republican organizers are set to tour Nashville and other potential sites, state officials say no such plans have been made to visit Georgia attractions yet.

Still, local tourism officials say they can pull the event off, though it would mean rescheduling other events scheduled for late August.

“It’s a very large undertaking. There’s a reason they’ve been booked years in advance because a lot of planning goes into these events,” said William Pate, the chief executive of the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“But if the president demands it and the governor wants to move forward, we’re going to get it done.”

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