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Arizona sets sights on hosting 2016 GOP convention

PHOENIX -- Arizona Republican party officials are hoping to host the 2016 national convention.

State GOP Party spokesman Tim Sifert confirmed Wednesday that the group is working on a proposal for the event. Phoenix was a finalist to host last year's convention before losing out to Tampa, Fla.

Salt Lake City, a finalist in 2012, New Orleans, Kansas City and Las Vegas have also expressed interest in playing host to the Republican National Convention.

"It's a very competitive process and we are very hopeful that this time around the national party will make the decision to have Phoenix host the convention," Sifert said.

And for those who will question Phoenix as a convention site during August because of the heat:

"Last year the convention was in Tampa and they had hurricane warnings and bad weather. We can pretty much guarantee that we will have great weather," Sifert said.

KTAR'S political analyst Mike O'Neil said Phoenix would be an unlikely choice to host the Republican National Convention in 2016 because Arizona is not considered to be a battleground state.

"Conventions tend to go to states that a party looks at and says we could be in play here. In recent years we have seen conventions held in Colorado, Florida, North Carolina."

O'Neil said the Valley's summertime heat during convention time would likely be another factor that eliminates us from consideration.

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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