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RNC chooses Houston for 2028 National Convention

Party officials made the decision in a private meeting, electing the Texan city to close out the next Republican primaries.

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For the upcoming Republican National Convention, the GOP leadership chose the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The event will take place between July 15 and 18, 2024, with the aim of promoting the next Republican presidential nominee. In an unprecedented announcement, they have already chosen a venue for 2028: Houston.

The 168 members of the Republican National Committee (RNC) decided the venue in a closed-door meeting on Friday. Although there are still no tentative dates for the event, it is expected that the tradition will be maintained and that it will be held in July or August.

Houston beat out four other contenders, two of them close neighbors, Dallas, Nashville, Miami and Jacksonville. In Nashville's case, it's the second time in a row that it falls short of hosting the event. After this decision, Nashville will be in the running the next time a venue is to be chosen, as happened when the location was selected for 2024.

"After a smart business decision made by the RNC last spring to allow us to select the next convention city earlier than ever before, we expect to see Houston in the spotlight in 2028," RNC Chairman Ronna McDaniel told POLITICO.

The Republican chair referred to the recent rule change authorized by Republican authorities, allowing them to begin to choose cities up to six years ahead. They made that decision when they realized that many hotels and convention centers in some cities were already booked three years in advance.

"All members of the RNC are eager to work with Mayor Sylvester Turner, the Houston Host Committee and Houston First Corporation to follow in Milwaukee's footsteps and deliver an incredible convention for our Party," she said.

Why Houston?

As a rule, parties do not randomly choose the city hosting the convention. It is quite a delicate process, usually involving a state they believe is very important to win in the general election. For example, the last Republican conventions were in Cleveland (Ohio), Tampa (Florida), Saint Paul (Minnesota), New York (New York) and Philadelphia (Pennsylvania).

In the case of 2024, Wisconsin is a state that Donald Trump won in 2016 after 32 years of Republican drought. Although Joe Biden reclaimed it in 2020, the margin was so narrow that the GOP is betting strongly to take back its ten electors.

In the case of Texas, although it has been a Republican state since the 1980s, the trend is increasingly favorable to Democrats, who narrow the gap in each presidential election. Therefore, Republicans want to push against that trend, anticipating it will continue into 2028. Specifically, they advance in the suburbs of Dallas, San Antonio and Austin. While the Lone Star State is not quite in the purple category, meaning it can easily switch parties from one election to another, political analysts agree that Texas will enter that column sooner or later, in which Arizona, Wisconsin, Georgia, Pennsylvania and North Carolina coexist today.