Cleveland has jumped another hurdle in its bid to bring the 2016 Republican National Convention to Ohio. ideastream's Nick Castele reports the GOP named the city one of two finalists.
When the GOP said it would be announcing the next step in its selection process, rumors flew that the party was booting Cleveland from the list of contenders.
Instead, word came down from Republicans that Kansas City and Denver were out -- leaving Cleveland and Dallas still in the running.
In its statement, the GOP didn’t explain why Cleveland advanced, or why the party’s been whittling down the list of possibilities one or two cities at a time.
Local business leaders pitched this as a sign their efforts to build hotels and restaurants downtown is getting notice. The city has lost past bids over an inadequate number of hotel rooms.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said he was pleased – but cautious.
"Yes, I’m happy," Jackson said in response to a reporter's question at a press conference. "I’m happy that this is occurring. But at the same time I’m very practical, and I know there’s a lot of work left to be done, so I’m not in the mode of celebrating yet."
Next week the GOP sends a technical crew to town. They’ll likely be taking another look at Progressive Field and Quicken Loans Arena, where much of the the convention will be held.
There’s also the question of money. A convention could take $50 million to $60 million, or more. Members of the local host committee crafting the bid say they’re confident they can raise enough cash.
It’s not clear yet when exactly the GOP will make a decision. Cleveland is also in the running for the Democratic convention.