Nashville may reject RNC agreement as opposition mounts over hosting in 2024
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Nashville's Metro Council will consider legislation Tuesday night to approve a framework agreement to host the Republican National Convention, but one council member said it likely won't pass.
Metro council member Bob Mendes is one of the loudest critics of Nashville hosting the RNC and said he has faith the agreement will be rejected.
"We're looking pretty good to defeat it," Mendes said ahead of Tuesday's vote. "There's some rumors the [bill] sponsor may go ahead and withdraw it and not even bring it forward for a vote."
The pushback comes as Milwaukee is competing with Nashville to host the 2024 Republican National Convention.
Passing the agreement proposal doesn't guarantee the RNC will pick Nashville, but rejecting it could send a strong signal to the national party.
The Milwaukee Common Council unanimously approved a similar agreement in June outlining security measures, hotel space and road closures among other things.
It's an important legislative step to prove you can host an enormous event, but Mendes said he's concerned about the potential violence that could erupt at a national political convention following the January 6th insurrection.
"This is just the wrong time for Nashville to host any national political convention," said Mendes. "A lot of constituents I'm hearing from don't understand why we would invite these polarized political times into our home."
Nashville Mayor John Cooper, a Democrat, also expressed concerns about hosting a national convention after his office estimated it would cost over $100 million to close downtown streets when other events are already scheduled during that time period.
Republican leaders including Gov. Bill Lee, council members Robert Swope and Jonathan Hall who sponsor the bill are supportive of the convention coming to Nashville.
The metro council meeting Tuesday will mark the first round of three votes required to pass the RNC framework agreement. If it fails, Nashville will still remain in the running to host but Milwaukee officials believe it could boost their chances to secure the bid
"To not have the support of the council might make the members of the site selection committee uneasy about bringing 27,00 delegates into the city," said Peggy Williams-Smith, president and chief executive, VISIT Milwaukee. "I would hope it would give us a leg-up but it does not mean it's over."
The RNC is anticipated to make a final decision on who will host during its meeting in August.