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Cornelius News

Host Committee responds to RNC news, saying ‘clear violation’

Photo: The White House

June 10. UPDATED 11:30 am. The Republican National Convention has announced that it is moving the principal celebratory part of their quadrennial confab to Jacksonville, Fla. According to the Washington Post, the business aspect would remain here in Charlotte.

Here is the official response from the Charlotte 2020 Host Committee:

“We have learned from news reports that the Republican National Committee has moved the convention from Charlotte to Jacksonville, Fla. Though there have been some conversations about business meetings being held in our city, nothing has been confirmed to us. This decision is in clear violation of the agreements made with the City of Charlotte, the County of Mecklenburg, Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, and the Charlotte Host Committee. Unfortunately, this action most directly impacts our hospitality and tourism partners, small businesses, and vendors counting on the economic impact of the promised events.”

GOP officials have been on the hunt for other cities to host after Gov. Cooper would not guarantee a full house for President Trump’s acceptance speech. The convention was set to run Aug. 24-27 at the Spectrum Center in Uptown Charlotte.

Boost from DNC in 2012 


Lake Norman entrepreneurs took advantage of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte in 2012. With some 35,0000 guests and spouses, it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reach a national audience.

Karen Lawrence, owner of It’s My Affair in Huntersville, had two contracts with the DNC. She organized a party for delegates from New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture in uptown Charlotte.

Hotels benefited as well as unique special event venues like the Carolina Raptor Center and Beaver Dam.

COVID looms

But this year is different, with COVID-19 looming large over events large and small. Restaurants like Queen City Q and Carpe Diem are closing their doors after crowds disappeared due to COVID-19 social distancing rules were imposed.

State health officials have expressed concern that coronavirus case totals and hospitalizations continue to rise in North Carolina. Inadvertently, perhaps, Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coordinator of the COVID-19 response, underscored concerns when she called Dr. Mandy Cohen last week regarding North Carolina’s troubling increase in coronavirus cases.

Hard work put in already


Sally Ashworth, executive director of the Visit Lake Norman, said the local convention and visitors bureau was “planning and preparing for the single largest event” prior to the move to Jacksonville.

“We’ve been diligently working with the RNC Host Committee to ensure the Lake Norman region puts its most hospitable welcoming mat out for attendees,” Ashworth said.


The City of Charlotte has not been officially informed of the RNC’s intent to relocate the convention.

Charlotte officials issued this statement at 11:30 am: “Considering the media reports of the RNC’s apparent unilateral decision to relocate a substantial portion of the convention to Jacksonville, an immediate discussion with the RNC and our partners regarding contractual obligations and remedies resulting from this apparent decision is required.”