Columbus is out of the running to host the Republican National Convention in 2016.
Originally one of eight finalists for the convention, Columbus was eliminated along with Phoenix Wednesday. Cincinnati and Cleveland are still in the running, however, and are set to have visits from RNC representatives later this spring.
Mayor Michael Coleman tweeted from his personal account, @MichaelBColeman, at 2:25 p.m. Wednesday stating the city was no longer in the running.
“We are out of the running to host the RNC but will now focus our efforts on @Columbus2016DNC,” he said.
Columbus is planning to submit a bid to the 2016 Democratic National Convention, but the Democratic convention has not yet opened its bidding process.
Dan Williamson, a spokesman for the mayor’s office, said Coleman first found out about the decision at about noon while he was at an event, so he did not know as of Wednesday afternoon why Columbus was no longer being considered.
“We’ll be talking to the Republican National Convention to get a better understanding of why,” he said. “We haven’t taken the opportunity to talk further of their view of our bid.”
He said he did not think having three cities in Ohio going for the same spot was part of the reason Columbus was removed from the finalists.
“In our mind, if there are three cities in Ohio going for it and they just wanted to pick one, we think we’re the best,” he said.
Williamson added that being eliminated from the RNC should allow the city to focus more on only one convention.
“We can focus solely on it without trying to do two things at once,” he said. “It takes a lot of time and effort to go after one of these conventions and if we were trying to do both at the same time, that would be difficult and so we’ll be able to focus solely on the DNC.”