KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The cities on the list have little in common. Some are on the East Coast, others dot the Great Plains or the western Rockies. Some are traditional Democratic strongholds, others deep Republican red. What unites them is that each of the 24 cities, here listed together for the first time publicly, received an invitation from the Republican party to bid for the right to host the GOP's 2016 convention.
Included on the list are widely-publicized contenders who have openly expressed interest in competing for the economic prize and boost in national stature that would come with hosting a convention: Las Vegas, Phoenix, Denver and Kansas City among them.
But the list, sent to 41 Action News by an RNC official, also includes cities about which little or no ink has been spilled by political observers following the selection process, including Indianapolis, Atlanta and Seattle.
Some states have multiple cities represented on the list. Three Ohio cities have expressed interest in hosting a political convention in 2016, and each received the so-called "Request for Proposal" or RFP, documents from the Republican party: Cleveland, Cincinnati and Columbus.
The Buckeye state, perhaps the most sought-after prize in presidential politics in recent cycles, has not hosted a convention since 1936, and a convention there in 2016 could boost the GOP effort to claim its 18 electoral votes.
Perennial battleground state Florida, carried by President Barack Obama in 2012 despite the Republicans nominating Mitt Romney in Tampa, has two cities listed: Miami and Orlando.
At the opposite end of the swing-state spectrum is deep-red Texas, which also has three cities on the list: Houston, Dallas and San Antonio.
Not all cities on the list are expected to file completed bids, Republican insiders say. Some were invited by the GOP in the hopes of spurring future interest, and others may be floating their names on a trial basis for conventions in future years.
The three largest cities in the country: New York, Los Angeles and Chicago all received the RFP paperwork, but none are thought to be actively pursuing the convention ( except possibly Chicago ). So, too, with Philadelphia, which hosted the Republicans in 2000. At least one city, Salt Lake City, UT, has publicly removed itself from contention .
The RNC official who provided the list to 41 Action News said several other, as yet unnamed, cities have requested RFP information since November.
The cities listed all received their paperwork in late November , with bid proposals – including thorough reports on venues, hotel space, and more, due by Feb. 26.
In late January, delegations from several of the cities seriously pursuing the convention prize will host receptions for RNC officials at the party's winter meetings in Washington, D.C. A Republican operative with knowledge of the bidding process expects Columbus, Las Vegas, Denver, Phoenix and Kansas City to be among those holding receptions.
A spokesperson for Kansas City's bid committee confirmed Kansas City would send a delegation. Mayor Sly James' office did not immediately respond when asked if the mayor would travel to DC for the reception.
The 24 Cities sent an RFP in November:
8. Kansas City
9. Las Vegas
12. Salt Lake City
13. San Antonio
19. Los Angeles
21. New Orleans
22. New York
23. Oklahoma City
24. St. Louis