RNC winter meeting to be held in January in Charlotte

by: Scott Wickersham Updated:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Republican National Committee will pick its next leader when it meets in Charlotte in January.

The decision to hold the meeting in Charlotte comes just months after the city hosted the Democratic National Convention.

North Carolina has become a key battleground state. Democrats hoped it would give them a boost in the election.

Eyewitness News asked if Republicans will try the same thing in 2016.

“It looks like it could be a kind of unofficial audition for the RNC to come to Charlotte,” said political expert Dr. Michael Bitzer.

Bitzer said it is possible the Republicans are testing the waters.

Republican City Councilman Warren Cooksey thinks the winter meeting could be coming here because the state went red in November, but he's trying to look beyond that.

“You can’t escape the politics of it. I, first and foremost, look at is as economic development. But being a red state again is certainly a factor,” Cooksey said.

Cooksey pointed to 1998 when the RNC site selection committee looked at Charlotte as a possible host city for the convention during the 2000 election.

“It’s a chance to show the city off and show them what has changed in 14 years,” Cooksey said.

It could be just a good location for a winter meeting -- nothing more.

It would be another two years before more serious rumblings start popping up in the Queen City about the national convention.

Channel 9 asked the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority if it tried to lure the RNC winter meeting. Organization officials said the RNC booked the Westin Hotel on its own.

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