KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Political power-players from both parties and both sides of the state line will unite in Washington D.C. Wednesday night to launch a charm offensive aimed at the GOP decision-makers who will decide if Kansas City, or one of its competitors, lands the 2016 Republican National Convention.
Organizers of Kansas City's bid for the 2016 convention will host a reception at D.C. restaurant Del Campo, aimed at selling Kansas City's qualifications for the convention directly to Republican National Committee members, who are gathering in the nation's capital for their annual winter meetings this week.
At the reception, mayors Sly James and Mark Holland will give remarks on the metro's finer points, toasted with bottles of hometown favorite Boulevard beer, according to a KC2016 spokesperson. Guests will dine on KC-style ribs and pork sliders as other members of Kansas City's bid committee lobby for Kansas City's cause. Angela Hagenbach, a jazz singer from Kansas City, will entertain.
In a final attempt to leave decision-makers with a good taste of Kansas City in their mouths, guests will go home with goodie bags filled with Roasterie coffee and Russell Stover's chocolates.
Among the Republican heavy-hitters expected to attempt to sell their colleagues on Kansas City: Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, and former Sen. Bob Dole of Kansas. Dole, 90, is serving as an honorary co-chairman of Kansas City's bid committee, and his stature as a former Republican nominee for president and RNC chairman is expected to add weight to the pitch.
Kansas City will not be the only convention competitor taking advantage of the winter gathering of Republican leaders. An RNC official tells 41 Action News at least three other cities are expected to host similar receptions over the course of this week.
On Monday, the RNC announced the selection of former Utah congresswoman Enid Mickelsen to head the selection committee. The rest of the committee will be seated Friday. Requests for proposal from cities competing to host the convention are due back to the RNC by February 26.