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Phoenix City councilman wants to bring Republican convention to Valley

(AP Photo/John Locher, File)

PHOENIX — A Phoenix City councilman said Tuesday he hopes to bring the Republican National Convention to the Valley later this year if it is moved from North Carolina.

Republican Sal DiCiccio said the convention would help jump start the metro area’s economy in the midst of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

President Donald Trump has threatened to move the Aug. 24-27 convention away from Charlotte after he said North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, wouldn’t be able to guarantee a venue with full capacity.

“If you have a governor there that doesn’t value the amount of economic development that’s going to come from one of these conventions, we need to send the message that we’re open for business,” DiCiccio told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show.

Diciccio said Arizona GOP Chair Kelli Ward forwarded his information to the Republican National Committee in hopes of campaigning for the Valley to be a replacement option.

Logistically, DiCiccio said State Farm Stadium in Glendale could be a potential host venue, but expects an event of that magnitude would require several cities across metro Phoenix to need to chip in for it to work.

DiCiccio thinks the Valley has the capabilities to host the event, even on a short notice.

He expects a decision on the convention location to be made in the next week and for Georgia and Florida to be other contenders if it’s moved.

“We will find a venue for this,” DiCiccio said. “We can easily accommodate that.”

Whether the city of Phoenix would be a part of potential convention plans is a mystery, according to DiCiccio.

Mayor Kate Gallego has opposed reopening the city quickly during the coronavirus outbreak.

Arizona is currently in the first phase of its reopening plan, which recommends limiting gatherings to no more than 10 people.

The state’s “stay-at-home” order expired at the end of the day on May 15 after being in effect since March 30.

“That’s why we all need to work together,” DiCiccio said. “If Phoenix isn’t going to do it, we will be looking to other communities.”

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