Jacksonville Is ‘Frontrunner’ To Host Trump’s Republican Convention

Jacksonville has emerged as the frontrunner to host the 2020 Republican National Convention, according to POLITICO. The event will be capped off with Donald Trump receiving the party’s nomination for President.

“While no final decision has been made by the RNC we understand Jacksonville is a front runner,” Republican Party of Florida Chair Joe Gruters, co-chair of President Donald Trump’s 2016 Florida campaign, tweeted Wednesday. “This certainly has been generating a lot of attention and excitement. We continue to believe that Florida would be the best place for the convention.”

This is welcome news for Trump’s north Florida supporters, but others who aren’t supporting Trump’s reelection aren’t so happy. They point out that Jacksonville is the second choice since Charlotte, North Carolina was ruled out after that state’s governor said Trump and his estimated 50,000 visiting supporters would have to adhere to health protocols in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic: Trump did not reportedly appreciate that.

Its become commonly known that many if not most Trump supporters are refusing to wear facial coverings in public, which heath officials say can greatly reduce transmission of the lethal virus. Trump himself doesn’t even wear a mask, and many in Jacksonville worry about the health consequences of thousands of non-mask wearers coming to town to party.

Its also unclear but likely that counterprotesters upset over Trump’s handling of race relations or lack thereof may also show up during the event. During the recent protests over George Floyd’s murder by police, Jacksonville recorded a few instances of violent clashes with area cops by demonstrators but not on the scale of some other larger American cities.

Jacksonville, long controlled by Republicans, including former Republican party of Florida chair Lenny Curry, now the city’s mayor, rolled out the red carpet to lure the event. POLITICO reports that a consultant close to the decision making said there was concern Jacksonville didn’t have the hotel space to accomodate the mob of visitors, but added, “that has really been put to bed. The city has what they need.”

Jacksonville hosted the Super Bowl in 2005. Visitors were shocked to find a lack of entertainment options, and even fewer desirable hotel rooms.

The NFL hasn’t seriously considered Jacksonville as a Super Bowl host city since.

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