Trump to Give Republican Conference Speech in Jacksonville, Florida

(TALLAHASSEE, Fla.) — Jacksonville, Florida, has been chosen to host the celebration marking President Donald Trump’s acceptance of his get together’s nomination for reelection, the Republican Nationwide Committee chairwoman stated Thursday.

Ronna McDaniel made the announcement a day after saying that Jacksonville was a front-runner to carry the occasion. The governor of North Carolina, the official host of this summer season’s Republican Nationwide Conference, had balked at promising Trump a full-blown conference in Charlotte free from social distancing measures throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re thrilled to rejoice this momentous event within the nice metropolis of Jacksonville,” McDaniel stated. “Not solely does Florida maintain a particular place in President Trump’s coronary heart as his house state, however it’s essential within the path to victory in 2020. We sit up for bringing this nice celebration and financial boon to the Sunshine State in only a few quick months.”

McDaniel stated the occasion can be held on the VyStar Veterans Memorial Area, which holds 15,000 individuals. She stated extra particulars can be launched within the coming weeks.

The get together’s extra mundane enterprise, together with discussions over the platform, will nonetheless be held in Charlotte due to contractual obligations.

The RNC had spent the final week scouting places after North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper rejected Trump’s demand that the conference be allowed to happen Aug. 24-27 with out social distancing measures.

The Jacksonville space is likely one of the state’s most populous, with 1.5 million residents, nevertheless it doesn’t have the glitz of Miami or the worldwide familiarity of Orlando. The neighborhood has tilted from the solidly conservative bastion it as soon as was to the extra politically various place it now could be. Whereas the world’s inhabitants continues to be principally white, 21% of its 1.5 million residents are black and 9% are Latino, in accordance with the U.S. Census Bureau.

“Florida is honored to host this particular occasion the place we’ll rejoice the re-nomination of President Donald J. Trump,” DeSantis stated. “Jacksonville is a superb metropolis that may showcase Florida’s power, amenities, entrepreneurship and dedication to convey collectively the delegates of the Republican Celebration at a historic time in our nation’s historical past.”

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, a former chair of the state Republican Celebration, tweeted a video saying his metropolis’s choice for Trump’s speech. He stated Jacksonville can be ready and prepared.

“What metropolis would tackle the Republican Nationwide Conference with simply 75 days to tug it off?” he requested. “Most likely not many. However Jacksonville isn’t simply any metropolis.”

In a press release supplied by the RNC, Curry additionally touted the “large financial influence” from internet hosting the occasion. The celebration might generate a minimum of $100 million in revenues for the host metropolis, maybe extra.

However Ben Frazier, a black activist with the Northside Coalition of Jacksonville, stated the occasion can be disruptive to town throughout a time of racial pressure and a pandemic.

“I solely see this exacerbating these issues,” he stated. “The mayor’s involved in regards to the cash town might make. We’re involved in regards to the lives of individuals right here in Jacksonville greater than anything. We don’t merely have to be involved about {dollars} and cents.”

Terrie Rizzo, the chair of the state’s Democratic Celebration, expressed concern in regards to the gathering.

“I’m deeply involved that the impetus for transferring their highest profile occasion to Florida was as a result of Donald Trump needed to provide a speech to a crowd of individuals not social distancing — and, given his earlier public occasions, seemingly not sporting masks,” she stated.

“Trump is coming to Florida to throw himself an enormous get together — nevertheless it’s trying increasingly like a goodbye get together to his probability at a second time period within the White Home,” she stated.


Thomas reported from Washington. Related Press author Tamara Lush in St. Petersburg, Fla., contributed to this report.

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