Republicans flock to Kansas City for leadership convention

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Hundreds of Republican leaders spent the day Friday and Saturday in Kansas City for the Midwest Republican Leadership Conference.

The event built momentum for people who are hopeful that Kansas City could host the Republican National Convention in 2016.

The Sprint Center could be host to the GOP, but finding hotel rooms for 50,000 delegates, media and visitors could be Kansas City's biggest obstacle.

There are only 32,000 hotel rooms in the entire metro.

If Kansas City is chosen for the convention in 2016, the benefits could be enormous.

The economic impact to Tampa, Fla., who hosted the Republican National Convention last year, was around $400 million dollars.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, who was in Kansas City Saturday, said he supports the idea.

"I love it here. The Kansas City contingency is pushing pretty hard and they're making a real favorable impression on all the folks there in our party", Priebus explained.

Kansas City hasn't hosted a major political convention since 1976.

Priebus also defended his plan to limit debates and shorten the campaign season, hoping to lessen the impact of what some see as a divisive primary process.

Kansas GOP Chairman Kelly Arnold talked about his "clean sweep campaign." This plan is Arnold's strategy to strengthen the  party's dominance in Sunflower State government, where Republicans hold 92 of 125 House seats and 32 of 40 Senate seats in state government. Republicans also represent over 82 percent of county-level elected positions.

Missouri Republicans at the event were looking for ways to raise party loyalty, proposing a new requirement for candidates to run as registered Republicans. They would be asked to sign a statement saying: "I have read, understand and fundamentally support the platform of the Missouri Republican Party."

The move comes after 15 members broke from GOP ranks to side with Dem. Gov. Jay Nixon, sustaining his veto of Missouri House Bill 235. The bill would have been a large income tax cut, but opponents said it jeopardize education funding and hurt the state's credit rating.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press

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