Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Decision on Tampa's 2012 GOP convention bid due Wednesday

Shhhhh. Don't say anything to jinx Tampa's bid for the 2012 GOP convention.

The recommendation on where to hold the party convention is expected Wednesday, and the conventional wisdom is that it's Tampa's to lose. Still, local boosters remember how optimistic they were before Tampa lost out on the 2008 and 2004 GOP conventions.

"I'm afraid to say how I feel. We've waited so long and we've been disappointed before," said Al Austin, chairman of Tampa's host committee. "I'm trying to keep my mind clear and not think about it. There isn't a darn thing we can do until the decision's made."

The choice is down to Tampa, Phoenix and Salt Lake City, and the Republican National Committee's site selection committee is scheduled to vote Wednesday between 2 and 3 p.m. at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center in Prince George's County, Md. Area boosters intend to gather in Tampa and nervously await the phone call.

"If we don't get it, you'll have a story to write about me jumping out of the 21st story of the SunTrust building," said Paul Catoe, executive director of Tampa Bay & Co., Hillsborough County's convention and visitors bureau.

The site selection committee's pick must be ratified by the full Republican National Committee this summer, but that is expected to be pro forma.

Nothing is certain until the vote is taken, but the speculation from Tampa Bay to Washington to Salt Lake City is that Tampa is the front-runner. NBC's First Read political blog summed up the conventional wisdom:

"With Latinos boycotting Arizona, and with (Mitt) Romney still considered the GOP front-runner (just how many stories on the Mormon Church would the media do if Republicans held their convention in Salt Lake with Romney as the nominee?), it seemingly looks like Tampa is going to be the pick by process of elimination."

Deborah Cox-Roush of Tampa, vice chairwoman of the Republican Party of Florida, was in the Washington area Monday for party meetings and was lobbying for Tampa, along with other Florida officials.

"I'm using every chance I can get to keep Tampa in their minds," she said. "It's going great."

Unlike prior years, the host committee is seeking no funding from pinched local governments. Instead, the budget calls for $40 million raised privately from the bipartisan host committee, a grant of about $18 million to the RNC from the Federal Election Commission, and $50 million appropriated from Congress for security.

"As for any speculation on who might be in first place, that is all speculation," said RNC spokesman Doug Heye.

Times staff writers Alex Leary and Janet Zink contributed to this report.

Decision on Tampa's 2012 GOP convention bid due Wednesday 05/10/10 [Last modified: Monday, May 10, 2010 10:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Why do people even hold hands, anyway?

    Human Interest

    Nothing lit up the internet this week quite like hand holding, or the lack of it.

    US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump step off Air Force One upon arrival at Rome's Fiumicino Airport on May 23, 2017. AFP PHOTO / Filippo Monteforte.
  2. Kickoff times announced for Florida-Michigan, FSU-Alabama


    College football's blockbuster season openers finally have kickoff times.

  3. Why not Kaepernick?: Ryan Fitzpatrick could be ‘Earl Morrall to Jameis Winston’s Bob Griese’


    As the football world continues to question the Bucs’ motives for signing Ryan Fitzpatrick over Colin Kaepernick as Jameis Winston’s backup, veteran NFL writer Rick Gosselin weighs in with this post titled “The Bucs are playing a mind …

    The Bucs want Ryan Fitzpatrick to mentor Jameis Winston.
  4. Mitch McConnell: Trump presidency 'indistinguishable' from what Bush or Rubio would advocate


    "What the administration is doing, not only am I comfortable with it, but I think the vast majority of Republicans in Congress feel that this is a right-of-center presidency, which is what we had hoped.

  5. 'Modern Family' star Sarah Hyland denies anorexia accusation


    Modern Family star Sarah Hyland says her skinny appearance lately is due to a medical condition.

    Sarah Hyland attends the 2nd Annual InStyle Awards at The Getty Center in Los Angeles in October. Hyland posted on social media May 24, 2017, that her skinny appearance lately is due to a medical condition.