(PatriotHeadline.com)- It’s looking more and more like Jacksonville, Florida, is going to be the new host of the Republican National Convention.
The GOP has been searching for the possibility of a new host site for major events surrounding the convention because North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, a Democrat, said he couldn’t guarantee he’d allow a packed house in Charlotte due to coronavirus-related restrictions.
While the Republican National Committee will be forced to hold some convention events and business in Charlotte because of contracts they signed, the plan is to shift President Donald Trump’s re-nomination acceptance speech and the other major addresses to a new city for late August.
Jacksonville is an attractive site for Republicans for a number of reasons. It’s one of the largest cities in the United States that is run by a mayor who belongs to their party. Lenny Curry is the mayor of the city, and used to run the Florida Republican Party. In addition, Governor Ron DeSantis is a big ally of Trump’s, and Florida is projected to be a key battleground state in November’s General Election.
About the RNC potentially moving to Jacksonville, Republican state Senator Rob Bradley said:
“North Florida is Trump Country — he will be welcomed here with open arms.
“Tim Russert famously, and correctly, predicted that the 2000 presidential election would be all about ‘Florida, Florida, Florida.’ Mr. Russert was right then, and the same is true in 2020. The winner of Florida will win the presidency.”
Not everyone is excited about the possibility of the convention coming to Jacksonville, though. As the schedule stands now, Trump would be giving his acceptance speech on the final day of the convention, which this year falls on the 60th anniversary of what’s known as “Ax Handle Saturday” in Jacksonville.
Sixty years ago on that day, members of NAACP’s youth council participated in a peaceful sit-in at a lunch counter meant for whites only. What followed was a mob of 200 white people chasing them through the streets of Jacksonville, and attaching them with baseball bats and ax handles.
As Jacksonville City Councilman Garrett Dennis, a Democrat, said:
“That is the day that Donald Trump will accept the Republican nomination. And the city was already planning events to commemorate that, and for that to happen here in our city of someone that’s intolerant of minorities, it’s just not good. It’s just not.
“So, I don’t think the investment and exposure will be worth the reward or the return on the investment.”
There are still concerns in Jacksonville about a shortage of hotel rooms (especially on short notice) as well as infrastructure concerns and concerns about the potential for protesting to still be raging on — or picking up if Trump comes to town.
Even still, Republican state Representative Jason Fischer, who will be attending as a delegate, said Jacksonville is ready to host.
“I still think that Jacksonville is better poised than other places to be able to handle it. And we’ll have great state and federal partners.”