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Former city leaders say Republican National Convention bid takes millions of dollars in fundraising efforts

Posted at 9:41 PM, Oct 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-26 23:23:42-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As Kansas City, Missouri, plans to bid for the 2024 Republican National Convention, excitement and planning efforts are underway.

“I’m just really excited hearing this news, we tried before and unfortunately didn’t get it, I’m hoping this year we get it,” Marisel Walston, chair of the Johnson County Republican Party said.

But now the big question is, can Kansas City handle the Republican National Convention if it wins the bid?

Current and former leaders in the region say it starts with fundraising.

“It was a heavy heavy lift,” said former KCMO Mayor, Sly James. “It was also heavy financial lift, you have to raise about $75-80 million to do this. It’s not an easy thing to do. We have other things competing for those dollars.”

James said the real test is if KCMO can make it all happen throughout the city.

“I happen to believe we can, there are enough people with the will and the cash, I think we can get it done,” James said.

Former fundraising chairs for the previous bid, Leawood Mayor Peggy Dunn and Terry Dunn also weighed in.

“It does take a lot, I feel like it was $30 million of private dollars and the rest was public dollars and the RNC was going to kick in a huge piece as well,” Peggy Dunn said.

Dunn says she was able to secure the $30 million last time, and the money was returned to donors after losing the bid.

She believes we’re well-positioned to do it again and says the tremendous amount of fundraising begins now.

“It’s hard to say what will be happening in 2024, but I do look at this as a nonpartisan initiative because we had a lot of democrats help us try to win this for our region and it was very rewarding to see that,” she said.

The team that will bring this bid to life is still undetermined.