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Republicans pick eight cities to compete for 2016 convention

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus leaves the stage after addressing the Faith and Freedom Coalition "Road to Majority" c
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus leaves the stage after addressing the Faith and Freedom Coalition "Road to Majority" c

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Republican National Committee on Thursday named eight cities that will compete to host the 2016 national convention to formally nominate the party's presidential candidate.

Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, Las Vegas and Phoenix will submit bids for the opportunity to stage the convention in the summer of 2016, said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus.

A site selection committee will evaluate the bids and select one or more finalists by late spring, with the winner to be ratified by the RNC this summer. The eight cities submitting bids are the greatest number since 2000, the party said.

For the winning city, a nominating convention can generate reams of publicity and millions of dollars of economic activity, but the hosts also must raise tens of millions of dollars to stage the three or four-day event.

Several of the hopefuls began lobbying RNC members at last month's winter meeting. Democrats have yet to name the cities bidding for their 2016 nominating convention.

In 2012, Republicans got together in Tampa, Florida, to nominate Mitt Romney as their candidate, while Democrats met in Charlotte, North Carolina, to formally nominate President Barack Obama.

(Reporting by John Whitesides; Editing by Gunna Dickson)

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