Republican National Convention considering Savannah as possible site

SAVANNAH, Ga. — All eyes are on Georgia right now as the state could host this year’s Republican National Convention.

Gov. Brian Kemp toured the city of Savannah with RNC president and CEO Marcia Lee Kelly Monday morning. The convention has also considered Jacksonville and Orlando, Florida and Nashville, Tennessee, according to reports.

“We are honored to offer a truly unmatched experience to the Republican National Convention. With world-renowned southern hospitality, first-class facilities, and a top-notch workforce, ‘The Hostess City of the South’ will leave a lasting impression on Marcia Lee Kelly and her team. I look forward to working with local leaders to highlight the best of what Savannah has to offer," Kemp said.

Channel 2 anchor Jovita Moore spoke with Channel 2 political analyst Bill Crane about the odds of Georgia landing the convention.

“The chances for one or more events like the President’s acceptance speech, he wants a large venue for. If you think of places that could hold the crowd at 50,000 and still socially distance are several venues in Atlanta, not so many in Savannah. There are venues in Jacksonville like the stadium that the Jaguars play in. So, a combination of cities, Jacksonville and Savannah as a pair, for Atlanta, as a standalone, as well as cities in Texas and other markets in Florida are being considered.”


Kemp has offered multiple times to host the convention after President Donald Trump threatened to move it from Charlotte. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper hasn’t guaranteed the RNC would be able to have full arena capacity because of COVID-19 concerns.

Savannah Mayor Van Johnson is also concerned over the potential health impacts and released this statement.

“I am strongly concerned about the impact that a convention of this magnitude would have on the health, safety and welfare of our city, her citizens and our budget. That being said, I am not privy to, or familiar with, any proposal or plans relating to the 2020 Republican National Convention, but I am open and willing to hear what they have to say.”

Kemp told Reporters Monday the convention is something the state needs right now, considering the big hit the hospitality business took because of COVID-19.

“It’s an economic play. For people that are worried about the politics, all money’s green, right? So when you’re paying for those hotel rooms, whether it’s Republicans coming to stay, whether it’s the media coming to stay...They all gotta eat, they all gotta stay somewhere," Kemp said. "That’s part of it and that’s what we want here in the state of a Georgia. We can handle that. We’ve got a great city with great hospitality to do it.”

The Republican National Convention kicks off Aug. 24. The Democratic National Convention is set to begin Aug. 17 in Milwaukee.