Salt Lake City is one of four cities vying to host the 2024 Republican National Convention.
Politico reported Friday that the other finalists were Milwaukee, Nashville, Tennessee and Pittsburgh. Party officials plan to visit each of the cities in the coming months before making a decision in the spring.
“It’s a great opportunity. It’s a really exciting thing for the state. It’s a really exciting thing for Republicans, and for me it’s a good thing,” Utah Republican Party Chairman Carson Jorgensen said.
Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, supports the city hosting the national convention in 2024 or sometime in the future.
“I think we have a great story to tell. I would like the rest of the country and the world to see how a well-run conservative state thrives,” he said.
Wilson said he didn’t know much about the details of the effort to bring the event to Salt Lake City or the selection process.
Visit Salt Lake is organizing the bid and made a presentation in Washington, DC, to the Republican National Committee last year, said Jorgensen, who made the trip.
“They have our unprecedented support,” he said.
Jorgensen said the convention, which requires some 18,000 hotel rooms, would be a boon to the state’s travel industry.
The 2024 presidential nominating convention could be explosive if former President Donald Trump decides to run again. The eyes of the country and the world would most certainly be on the state at this time.
Wilson didn’t want to speculate that Salt Lake City would be the scene of a Trump comeback. “I think we’ll just let it unfold and see,” he said.
Jorgensen said that if Trump is a candidate, “obviously it’s going to bring some divisiveness, but it’s also going to bring some support. … He’s sort of the catalyst for both sides.
Trump won Utah in 2020 with 58% of the vote.
The site’s deliberations come as the GOP begins its early preparations for the upcoming presidential election.
Jorgensen said he expects the selection committee to travel to Salt Lake City and the other cities before members of the Republican National Committee meet in Salt Lake City next month for their annual meeting. ‘winter. They are expected to discuss a range of issues related to 2024, including the primary calendar, primary and general election debates and the search for convention, according to Politico.
Representatives of the cities under study should be present at the winter meeting.
“I’m sure if they haven’t made up their minds yet by the time of the winter meetings, we’ll definitely bullshit them a bit more,” he said.
The choice of a convention host city has taken on an important symbolic role in recent years, with both sides using them to make statements of intent about competing for important swing states, according to Politico. Neither Republicans nor Democrats have moved out of potential convention-city battleground states since 2004.
Utah and Tennessee are solid red states, while Democrats have won Pennsylvania and Wisconsin in three of the last four presidential elections.
This isn’t the first time Salt Lake City has bid for the GOP national convention.
The Salt Lake Chamber led an effort to bring the 2012 Republican National Convention to Utah. The event eventually traveled to Tampa, Fla., where delegates now nominated Utah GOP Sen. Mitt Romney to run for president.
The University of Utah hosted the 2020 vice presidential debate between Kamala Harris and Mike Pence.