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Jacksonville is the front-runner to host the Republican National Convention, reports say

The Washington Post and New York Times say a decision is coming this week

President Donald Trump is expected to announce the new host city of the 2020 Republican National Convention by the end of the week, and Jacksonville is a leading contender, according to multiple news outlets.

The Washington Post, citing anonymous sources, first reported last night that RNC and Trump campaign officials have zeroed in on Jacksonville as a fill-in for Charlotte. The New York Times confirmed the Post report, citing its own anonymous sources.

Joe Gruters, the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, said Wednesday that a decision has not been reached but acknowledged Jacksonville has been “generating a lot of attention and excitement.”

“We continue to believe that Florida would be the best place for the convention,” Gruters said in a statement the party released on Twitter.

Trump in late May vowed to move the convention from Charlotte after North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper couldn’t guarantee the GOP could host it’s quadrennial confab without significant changes due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Trump and RNC officials didn’t want to

Enter Jacksonville. The mayor, Lenny Curry, immediately offered up the state’s largest city as an alternative. Prominent Florida Republicans, including Gov. Ron DeSantis, have joined the recruiting campaign.

Tampa Bay area mayors said they had no interest in hosting the convention again after holding the RNC in Tampa in 2012. Orlando and Miami were also under consideration.

Related: Could Trump move the Republican convention to Florida? The state GOP is all for it.

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