Coronavirus restrictions could impact state GOP convention in Greenville

Elias Hubbard
May 29, 2020

Govs. Brian Kemp of Georgia and Ron DeSantis of Florida said Tuesday they would welcome the opportunity to have the Republican National Convention, tentatively scheduled for August 24-27 in Charlotte, relocate to their states.

In a statement, an aide for the governor said: "State health officials are working with the R.N.C. and will review its plans as they make decisions about how to hold the convention in Charlotte". We've never had the opportunity to host this convention before and we are very excited about the opportunity. "You don't know whether or not you're gonna need to have proper social distancing with masks and all the other accouterments that we've been told we have to follow".

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican Trump ally, told reporters his state would love to have the convention in Florida.

The Republican National Convention is scheduled to take place in Charlotte Aug. 24-27, but due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, Cooper has not guaranteed that the arena will be allowed to operate at full capacity. "We are talking about something that's going to happen three months from now and we don't know what our situation is going to be regarding covid 19 in North Carolina." he said.

In a series of tweets on Monday, Trump lambasted North Carolina Gov. "A lot of locations want it", Trump said.

North Carolina leaders have been in ongoing talks with Republican Party leaders about how the convention will be held depending on coronavirus pandemic conditions at the time.

I do not understand why the governor of North Carolina hasn't given that guarantee, but the president suspects it's because the governor is a Democrat. It's just the governor, and he's got to work with us. He has to work with us.

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"Now, if he can't do it, if he feels that he's not going to do it, all he has to do is tell us, and then we'll have to pick another location". "We look forward to the back-and-forth on that". "We are going to have those discussions".

Kemp, a Republican, tweeted Monday morning that "Georgia would be honored to safely host" the RNC this summer and asked Trump to consider holding the convention in the state. "Thank you, and I LOVE the people of North Carolina!" "That plan does not contemplate hosting a large gathering event in August", Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said. "In fact, several long-standing City-supported and sponsored events have already been canceled in order to comply with CDC guidelines".

The Republican National Convention in Charlotte may not be the only Republican convention in North Carolina impacted by coronavirus restrictions. He said RNC organizers "must be immediately given an answer by the Governor as to whether or not the space will be allowed to be fully occupied".

Georgia, Florida, and Texas have all made headlines for reopening more rapidly than many other states across the country, and have been able to avoid any coronavirus catastrophes.

Georgia became a lightning rod for both criticism and praise when it was one of the first states in the nation to allow businesses including tattoo parlors and bowling alleys to reopen in late April.

As it tried to nail down convention plans, the Trump campaign announced it was promoting two veteran political aides to senior leadership roles. For your security, we've sent a confirmation email to the address you entered. Terry Spencer contributed from Miami.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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