NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Metro Nashville Council vote on whether to agree on the Republican National Convention coming to Nashville in 2024 is now pushed back until August. Meanwhile, the RNC Site Selection Committee voted Friday to recommend Milwaukee for the convention.
"Today, the Site Selection Committee voted to recommend Milwaukee to host the 2024 Republican National Convention and it is a testament to the forthright and professional behavior embraced by Milwaukee’s city leaders throughout the process. A final decision will be made by Chairwoman McDaniel and the full RNC in the coming weeks,” RNC Senior Advisor Richard Walters said.
Councilman Robert Swope said Friday he would refile the bill for the Aug. 2 meeting. He said all parties agreed on this timetable. Swope said the committee's vote was only a recommendation for Milwaukee. The full RNC vote is Aug. 5. TN GOP chair Scott Golden explained that the RNC Site Selection Committee recommended Milwaukee because it only had one agreement without Nashville's being voted on.
"I would loved for them to have weighed both proposals," Golden said Friday night. "I think we are very competitive for the things that the committee is looking for. They didn't have the ability to vote on anything for Nashville. They made the only decision they could. For site selection, this is the culmination of their year-long work. This was their only choice. We knew this when the vote was pulled in Metro Council. It doesn't mean it's dead. They couldn't make the decision. The hope is sometime in the next two and half weeks they will say this is a great opportunity. We are proud of the bipartisan host committee that we have done for the RNC in '24 and the DNC in '28.
Other council members said they didn't mind seeing the selection direction head out of Davidson County.
"I was glad to see the RNC Site Selection Committee recommend Milwaukee," Councilman Bob Mendes said. "I hope the RNC accepts the committee recommendation and formally chooses Milwaukee. I've heard Council Member Swope say that he'll re-introduce legislation for the council's Aug. 2 meeting, but that Hail Mary isn't going to work."
Last week, both Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton and Lt. Gov. Randy McNally said the legislature would consider a special-called session for the Tennessee General Assembly if Nashville council members voted against the RNC agreement.
"This is not a final decision," McNally said Friday night. "Hosting a national political convention in Nashville is a great opportunity for our state. I am hopeful the RNC will delay its final decision and that Metro Council approves the convention deal on August 2."
Swope told NewsChannel 5 on the council floor July 5 that he withdrew the bill because of security issues that need addressing between the RNC and Metro. He said the bill was taken off the agenda at the request of the RNC and host committee.
Previously, the Tennessee GOP and the Tennessee Democratic Party chairs both said they would like conventions for both parties to come to Nashville in the next decade.
However, some council members have been vocal they don't want to see the convention come to Nashville regardless
During that early July meeting, Councilwoman Sharon Hurt also withdrew her legislation that would have asked to disavow the convention coming to the city.
Milwaukee is also a contender for the convention. That city's council unanimously approved an agreement welcoming the RNC, according to CBS 58.