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Published: Wednesday, 9/27/2006

Republicans pick Twin Cities over Cleveland for 2008 convention


WASHINGTON Republicans have chosen the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul over Cleveland and other cities for the 2008 presidential convention, GOP officials said today.

The convention is slated for Sept. 1-4.

The choice of the Twin Cities would provide a major political punch for the GOP, capturing the media markets in Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota all battleground states in the 2004 election.

Others losing out were New York City and a joint bid from Tampa and St. Petersburg, Fla.

The four-day event will be held at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., home of the hockey team.

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson has said Cleveland, rated recently as the nation s poorest by the U.S. Census Bureau, was committed to raising enough private donations and providing its own financial share of the cost of the convention about $15 million of the estimated $75 million it costs to host the meeting.

The convention would have drawn 50,000 people to the city, pouring $100 million into the local economy, officials estimated.

In August, Cleveland hosted a party for the GOP convention search committee at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. The city also treated the committee to a Lake Erie waterfront fireworks display and tours of the city s Warehouse nightclub district, high-end hotels, transit system and Quicken Loans Arena, home of the NBA s Cleveland Cavaliers where the convention would have been held.

The Twin Cities, located along the Mississippi River, also are in the running for the 2008 Democratic convention. Democrats plan to hold their convention Aug. 25-28.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com.

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