Houston will host 2028 Republican National Convention

A page and a sergeant at arms regroup during the 2022 Texas State Republican Convention on Saturday, June 18, 2022. (Briana Vargas For The Texas Tribune, Briana Vargas For The Texas Tribune)

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WASHINGTON — Houston will host the 2028 Republican National Convention to select the party's presidential nominee for that year.

“I will say the RNC was blown away when we came to Houston,” RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel said during a news conference announcing the decision. “The 2028 convention will showcase the very best of Houston, the very best of Texas and the very best of the Republican Party.”

The RNC’s 168 members voted to choose Houston on Friday morning in Milwaukee, the site of next year’s convention and the first Republican primary debate earlier this week. The announcement came uncommonly early — five years before the convention and a year before the 2024 convention.

McDaniel brought up the party’s efforts to reach out to Hispanic voters in the selection of a city in Texas, where conservative Hispanic candidates have progressed in long-time Democratic strongholds in South Texas.

"We all know that Hispanic voters have been shifting toward the Republican Party. Texans like Monica De La Cruz and Tony Gonzales and Ted Cruz and Mayra Flores have been front and center leading that charge in 2022," McDaniel said.

McDaniel thanked Houston’s Democratic Mayor Sylvester Turner, Gov. Greg Abbott and the city’s host committee in their efforts to bring the convention to the country’s fourth largest city.

“Texas is the heart of the conservative movement,” Abbott tweeted following the announcement. “Together, we’ll secure Republican victories up and down the ballot to chart a brighter course for our party and our nation.”

Despite their party differences, McDaniel said Turner was a “great partner” in selecting the host city and helped put together “one of the best bids I have ever seen for any city for any convention.”

Turner selected real estate developer Ira Mitzner to head the city’s bid committee and worked closely with Houston First Corporation to lobby to host the convention.

“It's our job at Houston First to book events of all sizes, from Super Bowls to conferences and international events, and to keep Houston on the global stage so that we can continue to be top of mind as a destination,” Houston First CEO Michael Heckman said. “The Republican National Committee convention does just that.”

State Republicans were ecstatic to host the convention, which is expected to take place during the summer of 2028, though the exact dates are not set.

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, tweeted, “Texas continues to be a model for the nation of individual freedom, conservative values, and economic growth, and there’s no better place to experience all the Lone Star State has to offer than the Bayou City.”

Texas has hosted the RNC twice before: 1984 in Dallas and 1992 in Houston.

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