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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET


Jake Gibson

Washington, DC


Tampa Selected for 2012 GOP Convention

May 12, 2010 - 7:43 PM | by: Jake Gibson

WASHINGTON (FOX) — The Republican National Committee announced Wednesday that Tampa, Florida has been chosen as the site city for the 2012 presidential nominating convention.

Tampa beat out fellow finalist cities of Salt Lake City, Utah and Phoenix, Arizona.

In a statement released Wednesday by Arizona Republican Party Chairman Randy Pullen, he congratulated the city of Tampa yet was quick to deflect blame away from the controversy over Arizona’s recently passed immigration law, as the reason why his state was not chosen as the site.

“While many will point to Arizona’s new immigration law as one of the reasons Phoenix was not chosen, nothing could be further from the truth,” said Pullen. “Members of the RNC overwhelmingly support the immigration bill signed into law by Governor Brewer, and Republicans from coast-to-coast stand with Arizonans as we fight to secure our borders.”

The full RNC will vote on the 2012 presidential nominating convention site recommendation at its summer meeting in August of this year, however the full RNC has never overturned the decision of the site selection committee.

The deal is also still pending the successful negotiation of the site city agreement.

“We are honored and privileged to accept the bid from Tampa, Florida to host the Republican National Convention in 2012,” said RNC Chairman Michael Steele.

“The host committee’s hard work and dedication resulted in a tremendous bid that we are confident will produce a successful event,” Steele said.

The site selection committee, who made the decision, is made up of thirteen RNC members. They voted Wednesday afternoon at the RNC Chairmens’ meeting in National Harbor, Md.

The committee looked at a several factors including the number and proximity of hotels, capacity of the arena to hold the convention, transportation, security, media work space, convention office space, and the ability to finance the operation.

Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla. reacted to the news, “As a lifelong resident of the area I am ecstatic that the next Republican convention will be held in Tampa. The selection further thrusts the Bay area and the state into the national spotlight, while cementing Tampa as one of the nation’s best cities.”

The convention will take place he week of August 27th, 2012.