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The 1964 Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Photo courtesy of the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library.

Atlantic City not on list of alternate GOP convention sites, official says

Republicans shopping for new venue after Trump pulls out of Charlotte

By David Wildstein, June 04 2020 1:23 pm

It will come as no shock for New Jerseyans to learn that the Republican National Committee has not reached out to Atlantic City as a possible alternate venue for the 2020 GOP convention.

“We haven’t heard from them,” a top Atlantic City official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said.  “We haven’t heard anything about it.”

President Donald Trump announced yesterday that he had pulled the convention from Charlotte after North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper would not assure Republicans that the state’s shelter-in-place restrictions would be lifted by August.

Trump said he was looking for another state to host the convention, but his connection to the resort city has been complicated.

“It’s better than even money that Atlantic City is the very last place the GOP would consider, unless the RNC’s selection criteria is many years’ worth of stories about Trump casinos, contractors and bankruptcies, not to mention a state that’s exercising even more reopening caution that North Carolina,” said Micah Rasmussen, the director of the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics at Rider University. “It would be easier to find an off-the-line challenger on a New Jersey ballot than Atlantic City’s place on a list of possible replacement sites.

The last – and only — major national convention in Atlantic City as in 1964, when Democrats nominated Lyndon B. Johnson for president.  It was held at the iconic Boardwalk Hall.

Atlantic City’s convention business has suffered massive setbacks as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) announced last month that they had cancelled their in-person annual convention in November and will instead hold it remotely.

The New Jersey League of Municipalities annual convention, a November event that has played a central role in state politics for decades, looks to be a go.

“We continue to plan and expect to hold a live event, under the appropriate guidelines and criteria established by the state,” said Michael Cerra, the incoming league president.

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