Salt Lake City is out of the running to host the 2024 Republican National Convention.
The decision to eliminate Utah’s capital city from the list of four finalists came down to conflicts over dates, said Utah Republican Party Chairman Carson Jorgensen.
“That’s really all it boiled down to in the end,” he said
Visit Salt Lake, which was leading the city’s bid, already had events scheduled that conflicted with the Republican National Committee’s timeline, Jorgensen said.
“We were kind of under the impression early on to bid for August then they decided it was going to be in July and just couldn’t make it work,” he said.
Salt Lake City, however, could be considered to host the 2028 GOP National Convention. Jorgensen said the Utah GOP is working with other organizations in the city to get “pole position” with the RNC for 2028. He said the RNC’s site selection committee was impressed with Salt Lake City during its visit earlier this year.
“It’s kind of a bummer,” Jorgensen said of not getting the 2024 convention. “But also it’s good news because, like I say, they were highly impressed and everything went well and they were just super impressed with the city.”
Salt Lake City failed to land the national convention on two previous occasions.
Politico first reported Thursday that the RNC’s site selection committee voted last week to eliminate Salt Lake City from consideration as a host city for the 2024 convention. Pittsburgh is the other city no longer in contention. The decision leaves Nashville and Milwaukee, which Politico reported last month has emerged as the favorite.
RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel was in Milwaukee on Wednesday to meet with the mayor and members of the host committee, according to Politico. Representatives from Milwaukee and Nashville will be in Washington, D.C., next week to make their final pitches to the RNC’s site selection committee.
Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, a Republican, said it’s not surprising Salt Lake City is out of the running because political parties usually choose battleground states or states that will play a larger role in the presidential election.
“For the past many years, Utah has not been one of those states. We are a very conservative state, a very Republican state, a reliable state,” he said Thursday at his PBS Utah monthly news conference. “I’m actually more surprised that we keep getting mentioned in the top three or four than I am that we didn’t get selected.”
Cox said it’s possible the RNC will award the 2028 convention to a host city sooner than later, so “we’ll keep our hat in the ring and see what happens.”
The 2024 presidential nominating convention could be an explosive one if former President Donald Trump decides to run again.
The RNC held its winter meetings in Salt Lake City in February.
During the meeting, it censured GOP Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger over their criticism of Trump and their roles with the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot. The RNC passed a resolution saying Cheney and Kinzinger are participating in a “Democratic-led persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse.”
The resolution drew swift condemnation, including from Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney who said, “Shame falls on a party that would you have censure persons of conscience, who seek truth in the face of vitriol.”