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GOP committee to select host for 2012 convention next week

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

Backers of Tampa’s bid for the 2012 Republican National Convention could find out next week if the city will be selected to host the national political event.

Members of the Republican National Committee are expected to meet Wednesday in Washington, D.C., to discuss bids for the convention, and will make a recommendation on which city the event should be held in, according to RNC spokesman LeRoy Coleman.

That recommendation will be presented to the full 168-member RNC, consisting of party officials from across the country, for consideration at its next meeting, Coleman said.

Tampa is vying against Phoenix and Salt Lake City to host the GOP convention, when the party’s delegates will nominate a presidential candidate for the 2012 election. The event is expected to attract more than 50,000 politicians, delegates and reporters.

A site selection committee, including RNC Chairman Michael Steele, visited the city in late-March, ushered by tourism officials and local Republicans who put on a big show to convince committee members that Tampa is the best spot to hold the next convention.

Committee members looked at hotels, transportation, restaurants and nightlife, as well as facilities across the Bay area that would be venues for the event, such as the Tampa Convention Center, St. Pete Times Forum and Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.

Hosting the event would cost about $100 million, according to figures from the host committee, including $40 million in private donations, an $18 million grant to the RNC from the Federal Election Commission, and $50 million from Congress for security.

Citing a tight budget, Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio has pledged support and resources for the event but no city funding. Any costs incurred from the use of police, fire, public works or other services would have to be paid back under a contractual agreement, Iorio said. Continue reading here.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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