KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The task force bidding to land the 2016 Republican National Convention in Kansas City announced the support of 18 prominent local lawmakers on Wednesday, as the competition to host the party heats up among bidding cities.
A release from the KC RNC Task Force touted the 18 republican officials, including Lieutenant Governors from both Kansas and Missouri and a slate of prominent members of the US House of Representatives, as evidence of a healthy bi-state effort to land the convention.
"Individually, each one of these endorsements is impressive," Troy Stremming, the Task Force co-chair wrote in a statement. "Collectively, they represent our community's dedication to the common goal of bringing the Republican National Convention back to Kansas City."
Among the bold-faced names lending their imprimaturs to the convention bid are Lt. Governor Peter Kinder of Missouri, Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer of Kansas, representatives Sam Graves and Vicky Hartzler of Missouri and Tim Huelskamp and Kevin Yoder of Kansas.
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The endorsements should not come as a surprise, GOP insiders said. Local GOP leaders have much to gain from landing the convention in their home states. The announcement primarily serves as a way to keep the Kansas City bid in the local and area spotlight as task force members work furiously to complete the Request for Proposal due to the RNC by the end of February.
"The key is to keep in the news positive activity that demonstrates that we have bi-state support," Annie Presley said, a political strategist with the Bryan Cave law firm, who helped land the 2004 Republican convention in New York City.
Other cities bidding for the convention have seen their profiles increased by national media exposure, including a New York Times story last week about Las Vegas' tightly organized effort.
Last week, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Denver, Phoenix and Columbus sent delegates to the RNC's winter meetings in Washington to woo GOP decision-makers with presentations and receptions. Spotted manning the Denver booth was Cathy Nugent, who helmed the Kansas City convention effort in its early stages before her contract was not renewed and she was forced to step aside in December.