Republicans to spend Winter Convention in the Carolinas

Posted November 28, 2012 6:49 pm | Filed under Local News

Just a few months after the Democrats rolled into the Charlotte metro for the DNC, the Republicans are set to visit the Queen City for their winter convention.

The party confirmed Tuesday the January meeting will take place at the Westin Hotel in uptown Charlotte.  It’ll be the second big national political gathering in Charlotte since September, when the city hosted the much larger Democratic National Convention.

North Carolina has become a key battleground state. Democrats hoped it would give them a boost in the election.

“It looks like it could be a kind of unofficial audition for the RNC to come to Charlotte,” said political expert Dr. Michael Bitzer.

Bitzer said it is possible the Republicans are testing the waters.

Republican City Councilman Warren Cooksey thinks the winter meeting could be coming here because the state went red in November, but he’s trying to look beyond that.

“You can’t escape the politics of it. I, first and foremost, look at is as economic development. But being a red state again is certainly a factor,” Cooksey said.

Cooksey pointed to 1998 when the RNC site selection committee looked at Charlotte as a possible host city for the convention during the 2000 election.

“It’s a chance to show the city off and show them what has changed in 14 years,” Cooksey said.

WRHI’s television partner, WSOC-TV contributed to this report