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Arizona sets sights on hosting 2016 GOP convention

PHOENIX — Arizona Republican party officials are hoping to host the 2016 national convention.

State GOP Party spokesman Tim Sifert confirmed Wednesday that the group is working on a proposal for the event. Phoenix was a finalist to host last year’s convention before losing out to Tampa, Fla.

Salt Lake City, a finalist in 2012, New Orleans, Kansas City and Las Vegas have also expressed interest in playing host to the Republican National Convention.

“It’s a very competitive process and we are very hopeful that this time around the national party will make the decision to have Phoenix host the convention,” Sifert said.

And for those who will question Phoenix as a convention site during August because of the heat:

“Last year the convention was in Tampa and they had hurricane warnings and bad weather. We can pretty much guarantee that we will have great weather,” Sifert said.

KTAR’S political analyst Mike O’Neil said Phoenix would be an unlikely choice to host the Republican National Convention in 2016 because Arizona is not considered to be a battleground state.

“Conventions tend to go to states that a party looks at and says we could be in play here. In recent years we have seen conventions held in Colorado, Florida, North Carolina.”

O’Neil said the Valley’s summertime heat during convention time would likely be another factor that eliminates us from consideration.