Presumptive delegates hopeful decision made for RNC location soon

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — As the Republican National Committee decided on how their convention will look in August, presumptive delegates in the Triad stay hopeful for clarity soon.

The back-and-forth battle over the RNC Convention has waged on between Gov. Roy Cooper and President Donald Trump.

On Tuesday, Cooper sent a letter to the RNC which stated that it was “very unlikely” for the convention to happen in Charlotte on the scale that the RNC and Trump had hoped for.

The scale down would be in a way to reduce the risk of spreading or contracting COVID-19.

He went on to state that, “we are happy to continue talking with you about what a scaled-down convention would look like and we still await your proposed plan for that,” Cooper wrote. “We also await answers to the safety questions posed by our state Health and Human Services Secretary, specifically regarding social distancing and face covering.”

President Trump, late Tuesday, fired off a series of tweets stating, “Roy Cooper and his representatives refuse to guarantee that we can have use of the Spectrum Arena – Spend millions of dollars, have everybody arrive, and then tell them they will not be able to gain entry . . . Because of @NC_Governor, we are now forced to seek another State to host the 2020 Republican National Convention.”

Since the battle over the convention began RNC leaders have had conferences over the phone, and through video to discuss various contingency plans.

Per one RNC member, those include moving the convention to a new state completely, host it in two different locations – to include Charlotte to stand by an existing contract, or to do it remotely.

As those discussion continues, presumptive delegates stay positive that a decision will happen soon.

“Sounds like it’s either Orlando, Atlanta, or Nashville; that’s within driving distance,” said Lee Haywood, a presumptive delegate for District 6.

His is one of three delegates in District 6, and one of six delegates out of the Triad, which includes District 13. There are also alternate delegates for each delegate.

Trump wants to move the convention to a state which will allow all delegates and the expected crowd to attend.

Even if moved, supporters expect COVID-19 will play a role.

Haywood said he expects there to be some virtual aspect to the convention

“I imagine no matter how we conduct this convention, there will be a virtual element to it. The virus isn’t going to be completely gone by then, obviously,” he said.

Haywood was a delegate at the 2016 convention in Cleveland.

Other things that he feels will be sorted out quickly are logistics and security.

“It will be a challenge, but, like I said the Republican Party is very resilient,” he said.

RNC members tell FOX8, another plan includes watching the Democratic National Convention the week before. That convention is expected to be heavily online.

Republicans plan to watch what works and doesn’t work in terms of technology.

Others, like first-time RNC delegate nominee Ben York, are just hopeful they can go — even if the location is changed.

“I’m going to wait and see on that. I would really like to go in person,” he said.

He is the GOP chairman for Alamance County and has dreamt of being a delegate since he was 16 years old.

“When you got that dream, of being on the floor, you really want to be able to do that,” he said.

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