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Rep. Debbie Lesko says Glendale should be considered to host RNC

(Gila River Arena Photo)

PHOENIX – With the Republican National Convention looking for a new host city, U.S. Rep. Debbie Lesko of Arizona said two RNC scouts are coming to Glendale to see if it can be a potential host city.

“If we could hold a convention here where thousands of people come here, it would be absolutely fantastic,” Lesko told KTAR 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Thursday.

President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he’s pulling the RNC out of Charlotte because North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper refused to guarantee the event could be held without restrictions because of the ongoing coronavirus concerns.

Lesko said after hearing that, she called Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers to see if it was possible to have State Farm Stadium or Gila River Arena host the convention.

“Two days ago, there was no mention of Arizona, and then yesterday, I talked to a top official in the RNC and they said they want to send two scouts to Arizona to look at the arena,” Lesko said.

If Glendale were to host the RNC, Lesko said the hotels, restaurants and entertainment in the area.

“Glendale has a great history with Super Bowls, and we had national [college] championships over in Glendale, so Glendale knows how to do big events and we’re set up for it,” Lesko said.

Trump and the RNC had been demanding that the convention be allowed to move forward with a full crowd and no face coverings.

A traditional GOP convention brings together roughly 2,500 delegates, the same number of alternate delegates and many times more guests, journalists and security personnel. As far as paying for the security for an event, the convention provides those funds.

“Millions of dollars are provided to do the security, and that’s for both the Republican convention and the Democrat convention every time they have it, so this money is already appropriated so there would be money coming in to help provide security,” Lesko said.

Other states have also started to pitch the RNC to potentially host the convention, like Tennessee, Georgia and Florida, which is currently considered the front-runner.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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