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Kansas City is still in the chase for the 2016 Republican convention

Updated: 2013-09-15T01:12:10Z

By DAVE HELLING

The Kansas City Star

Kansas City remains in the running for the 2016 Republican presidential nominating convention, party Chairman Reince Priebus said Saturday.

“Of course they’re in it,” Priebus told reporters at the Midwest Republican Leadership Conference at the Westin Kansas City at Crown Center. “Why wouldn’t they be? It’s a great city.”

He declined, though, to handicap Kansas City’s chances against those of other convention-seeking communities. Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Phoenix and Charlotte, N.C., are among the cities said to be seriously interested in the 2016 gathering of the Republican Party.

Of those cities, only Kansas City sits in the central time zone, which favors those watching on the coasts. And, the city lacks a professional basketball or hockey team that might compete for arena space. Priebus said both facts could work to the city’s advantage.

Interested cities will get a bid packet later this year, with a final pick expected by spring.

The committee working on Kansas City’s convention bid might soon hire public affairs experts to help with its effort. City leaders recently traveled to Boston to discuss the convention bid with party officials gathered there.

Many of the delegates at the weekend Republican Party session in Kansas City said they like the city’s chances.

“Wouldn’t it be great?” said Zoé Soto-Gilbert, a party activist from Wentzville, Mo., who served as an alternate delegate to the 2012 convention in Tampa, Fla.

To reach Dave Helling, call 816-234-4656 or send email to dhelling@kcstar.com.

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